MET should be offered as a treatment for patients with distal ureteral calculi who are amenable to awaiting management. Benefits associated with MET are a shorter time to stone expulsion and less need for analgesic drugs and hospitalization for treatment. MET is cost effective for the management of distal ureteral stones.
The AUA/EAU guidelines suggest MET as a reasonable treatment choice in select patients. Previous studies have demonstrated a significant benefit in stone expulsion rates with the use of MET. A review of the data suggests greater success rates occur with the use of alpha antagonist compared to calcium channel blockers. The use of MET is not limited to just those patients attempting passage of calculi without other interventions; there is also an advantage to MET in those subjects treated with other modalities (i.e. SWL and ureteroscopy). Even with multiple studies demonstrating the benefits of MET, it still is underutilized as a treatment modality. Education in the hospital setting appears to be beneficial in changing practice behaviors. MET may reduce medical costs and prevent unnecessary surgeries and the associated risks.
Only a minority of patients with ureteric calculi require surgical intervention. Uncomplicated ureteric stones up to 10 mm can be given a trial of MET initially. The trial period may be extended up to 12-weeks depending on the control of symptoms and downward movement of the stone.