Purpose: We evaluated the efficacy of alfuzosin as medical expulsive therapy for distal ureteral stone passage.
Materials and methods: A total of 76 patients with a distal ureteral calculus provided consent for the study. Patients were randomized between placebo and study medication, and investigators and patients were blinded to the randomization scheme. Followup was done on a weekly basis and continued until the patient was rendered stone-free. The patient blood pressure, discomfort level, stone position on imaging, number of remaining pills and any adverse events were assessed. Statistical analysis was performed with the Student t test with p <0.05 considered significant.
Results: The overall spontaneous stone passage rate was 75%, including 77.1% for placebo and 73.5% for alfuzosin (p = 0.83). Mean +/- SD time needed to pass the stone was 8.54 +/- 6.99 days for placebo vs 5.19 +/- 4.82 days for alfuzosin. (p = 0.003). There was no difference in the size or volume of stones that passed spontaneously between the placebo and alfuzosin arms, as measured on baseline computerized tomography (4.08 +/- 1.17 and 3.83 +/- 0.95 mm, p = 0.46) and by a digital caliper after stone expulsion (3.86 +/- 1.76 and 3.91 +/- 1.06 mm, respectively, p = 0.57). When comparing the improvement from the baseline pain score, the alfuzosin arm experienced a greater decrease in pain score in the days after the initial emergency department visit to the date of stone passage (p = 0.0005).
Conclusions: Alfuzosin improves the patient discomfort associated with stone passage and decreases the time to distal ureteral stone passage but it does not increase the rate of spontaneous stone passage.