Outcome of uncomplicated ureteric calculi managed with medical expulsive therapy in the outpatient clinic of a urology unit in Sri Lanka

BMC Res Notes. 2017 Nov 28;10(1):636. doi: 10.1186/s13104-017-2974-1.


Objective: Although medical expulsive therapy (MET) is shown to be effective for ureteric calculi, the optimum duration and the stone size suitable for MET are not well established yet. The objectives of the study were to determine the optimum duration and maximum stone size suitable for MET.

Results: All patients with radiologically confirmed uncomplicated ureteric calculi treated with MET using tamsulosin over a period of 6 months in the outpatient setting were followed up. There were 213 patients. 165 were men. Mean age was 42 years. At presentation 42 stones were in upper ureter (19.7%), 51 in mid ureter (23.9%), 120 in lower ureter (56.3%). The majority (82.7%) of stones were less than 10 mm. Seven stones (3.3%) were over 15 mm. Ninety-two (43.2%) patients had spontaneous passage of stones within 6-weeks of MET. Another 38.9% passed the stone within the next 6-weeks. Thirty-eight patients (17.8%) required surgery. Uncomplicated ureteric stones up to 10 mm can be given a trial of MET using tamsulosin which can be extended up to 12-weeks with a success rate over 92%. This may have substantial clinical and fiscal benefits by reducing the number of interventional procedures especially in resource-poor settings.

Keywords: Medical expulsive therapy; Sri Lanka; Tamsulosin; Ureteric calculi; α Blockers.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-1 Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sulfonamides / therapeutic use*
  • Tamsulosin
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ureteral Calculi / drug therapy*
  • Urological Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Adrenergic alpha-1 Receptor Antagonists
  • Sulfonamides
  • Urological Agents
  • Tamsulosin