Shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) is an efficacious treatment for moderate-sized kidney stones, according to British researchers.

In a study of 130 patients, Vera Y. Chung, MBBS, and Benjamin W. Turney, PhD, FRCS, of the University of Oxford, Headington, Oxford, U.K., evaluated the efficacy of SWL in treatment of kidney stones 10–20 mm in maximum diameter. The mean stone size was 12.8 mm. The overall treatment success (combined complete stone clearance and clinically insignificant residual fragments) was 66.4%. The success rate was 70.4% and 53.1% for stones less than 15 mm and 15 mm or larger, respectively, the investigators reported online in Urolithiasis

“This study suggests that SWL has an efficacy for treating larger renal stones (10–20 mm) that is equivalent to success rates for smaller stones in other series,” the authors wrote.

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