Purpose: We assessed the impact of alfuzosin on ureteral stent discomfort.
Materials and methods: A total of 66 patients scheduled for unilateral retrograde ureteroscopy with stent placement provided consent for the study. Patients were randomized between placebo and the study medication, and investigators and patients were blinded to the randomization scheme. To evaluate pain and urinary symptoms patients were asked to complete the Ureteral Stent Symptom Questionnaire (Stone Management Unit, Southmead Hospital, Westbury-on-Trym, United Kingdom) before ureteroscopy and 3 days after the procedure to minimize the confounding impact of procedural discomfort due to surgery. Patients were also asked to maintain a use log of pain medication each day that the ureteral stent was in place. Procedure outcome and complications were recorded, as were patient study medication use and vital health information before the procedure and at the time of stent removal. Statistical analysis was performed using the Student t, chi-square and Wilcoxon rank sum tests, as appropriate, with p <0.05 considered significant.
Results: Of 66 patients who provided consent 55 successfully completed the study. In 3 of the 11 failed cases surgery was not done due to spontaneous stone passage, surgery was performed in 3 but no ureteral stent was placed, 4 were excluded from study after obtaining consent due to exclusion criteria and 1 was voluntarily removed from study after obtaining consent but before surgery. Regarding stent type, procedure complications and baseline questionnaire results there were no significant differences between the placebo and alfuzosin arms. When comparing post-procedure questionnaire results, patients in the alfuzosin arm reported less overall pain in the kidney/back/loin area and less pain in the kidney area while passing urine (p = 0.017 and 0.007, respectively). Men in the alfuzosin arm also reported a lesser incidence of excessive urination (p = 0.040). When comparing changes from baseline questionnaire results, the alfuzosin arm experienced a decrease in kidney pain during sleep (p = 0.017), less frequent use of painkillers to control kidney pain (p = 0.020) and a decrease in how much kidney associated pain interfered with life (p = 0.045). There was no significant difference in the amount of narcotics used per day, as reported in patient medication logs.
Conclusions: Alfuzosin improves the patient discomfort associated with ureteral stents by decreasing urinary symptoms and kidney pain but it does not affect the amount of narcotics that patients use while the stent is in place.