Korean J Urol.  2001 Apr;42(4):379-383.

Comparision of Extracoporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) and Ureteroscopic Lithotripsy (URS) for Treatment of Upper Ureteral Calculi

  • 1Department of Urology, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.


PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to compare extracoporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) with ureteroscopic lithotripsy (URS) to establish the efficacy in treating upper ureteral calculi.
We retrospectively reviewed our experience with 279 patients treated with ESWL and URS for a upper ureteral calculi. Two hundred and four patients were treated with ESWL using MPL-9000 while 75 patients were treated with URS using 8/9.8Fr rigid ureteroscopes. Upper ureteral calculi were classified as those above L3 and below L4. We determined the comparative efficacies of ESWL with URS in the treatment of upper ureteral calculi according to location and size of stones.
In the ESWL treatment, the overall stone free rate was 90.2%. The stone free rates were significantly affected by the location of the calculi with 92% above L3, and 84% below L4. The stone free rates according to the size were 91.9% for stones < OR =10mm, 90.3% for stones 11-20mm, 57.1% for stones > OR =21mm. Regardless of the size of the calculi, complete removal of all stone fragments was achieved in 86.7% of the patients treated with URS. The stone free rates according to the location of calculi were 79.2% in those above L3, and 90.1% in those below L4 with URS. ESWL has been found with a statistically significant higher success rate than URS in the treatment of above L3 ureteral calculi (p<0.05). On the other hand, URS showed a statistically significant higher success rate in the treatment of calculi larger than 21mm in size. The cost of URS was cheaper than ESWL but the complication rate was higher than ESWL.
Our study demonstrates that the highly successful stone free rates can be achieved with either ESWL or URS. ESWL is useful as the first-line therapy for treatment of the upper ureteral calculi whereas URS should be considered as a treatment modality when the calculi are below L4 of the upper ureter and sizes of the calculi are larger than 21mm (URS).


Upper ureteral calculi; Extracoporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL); Ureteroscopic lithotripsy
Full Text Links
  • KJU
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2021 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr