Background/Aims: To evaluate the efficacy of tamsulosin as a medical expulsive therapy of ureteral stones. Methods: We searched PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and ISI-Science Citation Index up to December 2011. All randomized controlled trials were identified in which patients were randomized to receive either tamsulosin or standard therapy with/without placebo for ureteral stones. Outcome measures assessed were overall stone expulsion rate (primary) and expulsion time, and the number of pain episodes (secondary). Three authors independently assessed study quality and extracted data. All data were analyzed using RevMan 5.0. Results: Twenty-nine trials with a total of 2,763 patients met the inclusion criteria. The pooled analysis showed a 19% improvement in stone clearance with tamsulosin. According to the doses of tamsulosin, the pooling effects of tamsulosin were analyzed, with a higher expulsion rate obtained than in controls. Compared with calcium channel blockers, there was a higher stone expulsion rate in tamsulosin. In addition, a shorter expulsion time, fewer colic episodes and adverse effects were observed. Conclusions: Tamsulosin is a safe and effective medical expulsive therapy choice for ureteral stones. It should be recommended for most patients with distal ureteral stones before stones are 10 mm in size. In future, high-quality multicenter, randomized and placebo-controlled trials are needed to evaluate the outcome.
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