Tamsulosin and spontaneous passage of ureteral stones in children: a multi-institutional cohort study

J Urol. 2014 Aug;192(2):506-11. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2014.01.091. Epub 2014 Feb 8.


Purpose: Tamsulosin is associated with increased passage of ureteral stones in adults but its effectiveness in children is uncertain. We determined the association between tamsulosin and the spontaneous passage of ureteral stones in children.

Materials and methods: We performed a multi-institutional retrospective cohort study of patients 18 years or younger who presented between 2007 and 2012 with ureteral stones up to 10 mm and who were treated with tamsulosin or oral analgesics alone. The outcome was spontaneous stone passage, defined as radiographic clearance and/or patient report of passage. Subjects prescribed tamsulosin were matched with subjects prescribed analgesics alone, using nearest neighbor propensity score matching to adjust for treatment selection. Conditional logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between tamsulosin and spontaneous passage of ureteral stones, adjusting for stone size and location.

Results: Of 449 children with ureteral stones 334 were eligible for inclusion, and complete data were available for 274 patients from 4 institutions (99 receiving tamsulosin, 175 receiving analgesics alone). Following case matching, there were no differences in age, gender, weight, height, stone size or stone location between the 99 subjects prescribed tamsulosin and the 99 propensity score matched subjects prescribed analgesics alone. In the tamsulosin cohort 55% of ureteral stones passed, compared to 44% in the analgesics alone cohort (p=0.03). In multivariate analysis adjusting for stone size and location tamsulosin was associated with spontaneous passage of ureteral stones (OR 3.31, 95% CI 1.49-7.34).

Conclusions: The odds of spontaneous passage of ureteral stones were greater in children prescribed tamsulosin vs analgesics alone.

Keywords: comparative effectiveness research; nephrolithiasis; tamsulosin.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenergic alpha-1 Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sulfonamides / therapeutic use*
  • Tamsulosin
  • Ureteral Calculi / drug therapy*


  • Adrenergic alpha-1 Receptor Antagonists
  • Sulfonamides
  • Tamsulosin