Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) monotherapy is associated with similar outcomes in patients with proximal and distal ureteral stones, according to researchers.


The finding is based on a study of 68 patients with isolated ureteral stones treated with ESWL. Proximal and distal stones were present in 44 and 24 patients, respectively. The investigators, who are with the Ege University Medical Faculty in Bornova, Izmir, Turkey, stratified patients according to stone burden and degree of obstruction.

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The overall stone-free rate was 85.3%, with a 41.2% re-treatment rate and 17.6% auxiliary procedure rate, the researchers reported in International Urology and Nephrology (2007; published online ahead of print).


The stone-free rates were 86.3% and 79.1% for the proximal and distal ureter, respectively, a nonsignificant difference. Among patients with stones less than 100 mm2, the stone-free rate was 85.4% and 89.5%, respectively. The degree of obstruction did not affect stone-free rate for the study population overall and the proximal ureter group, but it adversely affected the rate in the patients with distal ureteral stones, the authors noted.