Complete Intraureteral Stents Decrease Urinary Symptoms Compared with Conventional Ureteral Stents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


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Introduction: Up to 80% of stent patients report urinary discomfort, negatively impacting their daily activities and quality of life. Conventional Double-J ureteral stents (DJSs) can cause adverse kidney and bladder-related symptoms. Complete intraureteral stents (CISs) may reduce bothersome bladder symptoms by reducing foreign material in the bladder. We sought to aggregate and analyze ureteral stent symptom questionnaire (USSQ) data from the available randomized controlled trials comparing CISs with conventional ureteral stents. Methods: In February 2023, a Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses-compliant systematic review was performed to identify studies that evaluated the use of CISs and reported outcomes using the USSQ score. Two authors (D.E.H.-G. and G.S.) independently extracted and analyzed data using Review Manager 5.41. Heterogeneity was assessed using Higgins I2%, with values >50% considered heterogeneous and analyzed with a random effects model; otherwise, a fixed effects model was used. The results are presented as the mean difference (MD) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We set our significance level at p = 0.05. Results: Six randomized controlled clinical trials compared CISs with DJSs, but only five trials reported the USSQ score. Among these patients, 235 had CISs, whereas the remaining 259 had DJSs or loop-tail stents and served as controls for 494 patients. Urinary symptoms scores were lower in the CIS group (MD -5.19, 95% CI: [-5.89 to -4.50], p < 0.0001). Pain scores were also lower in the CIS group (MD -1.90 [-2.63 to -1.16] p < 0.00001). General health and work performance domains were similar between the groups. A 2.5% stent failure or migration rate requiring endoscopic intervention was reported in the CIS group compared with 0.3% in the DJS group (odds ratio 4.01 [0.96-16.76] p = 0.06). Conclusions: CISs significantly decrease urinary symptoms and pain associated with conventional indwelling ureteral stents. However, further trials are needed to determine the optimal patient selection for this type of stent.
intraureteral stents,urinary symptoms,morbidity
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