Purpose: SWL has revolutionized the management of nephrolithiasis and it is a preferred treatment for uncomplicated renal and proximal ureteral calculi. Since its introduction in 1982, conflicting reports of early adverse effects have been published. However, to our knowledge the long-term medical effects associated with SWL are unknown. We evaluated these adverse medical effects associated with SWL for renal and proximal ureteral stones.
Materials and methods: Chart review identified 630 patients treated with SWL at our institution in 1985. Questionnaires were sent to 578 patients who were alive in 2004. The response rate was 58.9%. Respondents were matched by age, sex and year of presentation to a cohort of patients with nephrolithiasis who were treated nonsurgically.
Results: At 19 years of followup hypertension was more prevalent in the SWL group (OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.03, 2.10, p = 0.034). The development of hypertension was related to bilateral treatment (p = 0.033). In the SWL group diabetes mellitus developed in 16.8% of patients. Patients treated with SWL were more likely to have diabetes mellitus than controls (OR 3.23, 95% CI 1.73 to 6.02, p <0.001). Multivariate analysis controlling for change in body mass index showed a persistent risk of diabetes mellitus in the SWL group (OR 3.75, 95% CI 1.56 to 9.02, p = 0.003). Diabetes mellitus was related to the number of administered shocks and treatment intensity (p = 0.005 and 0.007).
Conclusions: At 19 years of followup SWL for renal and proximal ureteral stones was associated with the development of hypertension and diabetes mellitus. The incidence of these conditions was significantly higher than in a cohort of conservatively treated patients with nephrolithiasis.