Objective: To assess the efficacy and safety of extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy or pneumatic ureteroscopic lithotripsy for lower ureteral stones therapy, we sought to identify and summarize randomized controlled trials that were used to treat distal ureteral stone. Methods: Eligible studies were identified from electronic databases. Database search, quality assessment, and data extraction were performed by two reviewers independently. Our primary outcome was the stone-free rate. Secondary outcomes were the fragmentation rate, complications and the rate of re-treatment and secondary procedures. The results were assessed by Review Manager 5.0. Publication bias was evaluated by Stata 11.0. Results: 13 trials were included. Meta-analysis of pooled data showed that pneumatic ureteroscopic lithotripsy demonstrated a significant advantage over extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (OR = 0.14, 95% CI [0.09, 0.23], P < 0.00001) in the stone-free rate; the extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy had statistical disadvantages over pneumatic ureteroscopic lithotripsy in the fragmentation rate of ureteral stones (OR = 0.14, 95% CI [0.05, 0.39], P = 0.0002); and the rate of re-treatment and secondary procedure was lower in pneumatic ureteroscopic lithotripsy than in extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (OR = 5.37, 95% CI [2.61, 11.07], P < 0.00001). Our pooled results showed that there was no statistical difference between extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy and pneumatic ureteroscopic lithotripsy in hematuresis, ureteral stricture and urosepsis or fever. Finally extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy had a higher incidence of colic pain than pneumatic ureteroscopic lithotripsy. Conclusion: The present meta-analysis suggested that pneumatic ureteroscopic lithotripsy had large advantages over extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy in the treatment of lower ureteral stones.
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