Purpose: Phyllanthus niruri is a plant used in Brazilian folk medicine for the treatment of urolithiasis. We assessed the efficacy of P. niruri after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for renal stones.
Materials and methods: We prospectively evaluated 150 patients with renal stones that were as large as 25 mm and composed of calcium oxalate. All patients received 1 to 3 extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy sessions by Dornier Lithotriptor S. After treatment 78 of 150 patients (52%) underwent therapy with Uriston, a P. niruri extract (2 gm daily) for at least 3 months (group 1). Otherwise 72 of 150 patients (48%) were used as a control group (group 2). No significant difference in stone size between the 2 groups was found. Stone clearance was assessed after 30, 60, 90 and 180 days by abdominal x-ray and ultrasound scan.
Results: Stone-free rate (stone-free defined as the absence of any stone or residual fragments less than 3 mm) was 93.5% in group 1 and 83.3% in group 2 (p = 0.48) at the end point of the followup (180 days). For lower caliceal stones (56 patients) the stone-free rate was 93.7% in the treatment group and 70.8% in the control group (p = 0.01). Re-treatment need for group 1 was 39.7% and for group 2 it was 43.3% (p = 0.2). No side effects were recorded with extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy or P. niruri therapy.
Conclusions: Regular self-administration of P. niruri after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for renal stones results in an increased stone-free rate that appears statistically significant for lower caliceal location. Its efficacy and the absolute lack of side effects make this therapy suitable to improve overall outcomes after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for lower pole stones.