Studies that used tamsulosin therapy after a single session of extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy or after the development of steinstrasse (an accumulation of stone fragments that obstruct the ureter) were eligible for inclusion. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled studies were included.
The primary endpoint in most of the included trials was complete clearance of stones or the presence of clinically insignificant residuals (less than 3mm diameter, asymptomatic) and included only patients with a single radiopaque lithiasis in whom hydration was recommended (1.5 to 2.5 litres/day).
The stone locations in the included studies were ureteral, renal and steinstrasse; stones ranged in diameter from 4 to 24mm. The number of shocks delivered and model of lithotripter varied. The dose of tamsulosin was 0.4mg daily for 14 days to six weeks. Outcomes reported included pain related measures (e.g. visual analogue scale scores) and mean expulsion time.
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.