Outcomes of Flexible Ureteroscopy vs Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy for Renal Stones in Pediatric Patients: A European Association of Urology Urolithiasis Guidelines Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Journal Articles uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: We sought to determine which treatment between flexible ureteroscopy and shock wave lithotripsy has a better stone-free rate in pediatric patients (<18 years) with renal or proximal ureteric stones (<2 cm). Subanalysis for all outcomes for randomized controlled trials only. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using PubMed, Web of Science, and the Cochrane database, we identified studies (randomized clinical trials and prospective comparative nonrandomized studies) published until August 2022 reporting surgical outcomes of pediatrics patients undergoing flexible ureteroscopy and shock wave lithotripsy with renal or proximal ureteric stones <2 cm (PROSPERO ID: CRD42022378790). Only randomized controlled trials were considered for meta-analysis. Stone-free rate, operative time, and complications were analyzed. Analysis was performed in R. RESULTS: A total of 6 studies identified, of which 3 were randomized clinical trials and 4 had data on renal stones. A total of 669 patients were analyzed. Mean age ranged from 4.4 to 12.4 years. The shock wave lithotripsy group presented a range of stone-free rate between 21 and 90% while the flexible ureteroscopy group presented a range of stone-free rates between 37% and 97%. Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials only (n=302) demonstrated significantly higher stone-free rate in flexible ureteroscopy vs shock wave lithotripsy (RR = 1.17, 95% CI: 1.04-1.33, P = 0.01), operative time (mean difference = +16.4 minutes, 95% CI: 7.3-25.5, P < 0.01) and hospital stay (mean difference = +0.25 days, 95% CI: 0.14-0.36, P < 0.001). But no difference in fluoroscopy exposure time (mean difference = -21.0 seconds, 95% CI: -42.6 to 0.56, P = 0.07), Clavien I-II (RR = 1.23, 95% CI: 0.71-2.12, P = 0.45) or Clavien III-V complications (RR = 1.04, 95% CI: 0.32-3.42, P = 0.95). CONCLUSIONS: Flexible ureteroscopy has a significantly higher stone-free rate than shock wave lithotripsy, with no difference in complication rate or fluoroscopy exposure time, and significantly higher operative times and hospital stay. However, the current evidence base for this is weak and further randomized trials are needed.


  • Yuan, Yuhong
  • Geraghty, Robert
  • Lombardo, Riccardo
  • Yuan, Cathy
  • Davis, Niall
  • Tzelves, Lazaros
  • Petrik, Ales
  • Jung, Helene
  • Gambaro, Giovanni
  • Tailly, Thomas
  • Neisius, Andreas
  • Skolarikos, Andreas
  • Somani, Bhaskar

publication date

  • December 2023