Introduction & Objectives
Shockwave lithotripsy (SWL) technology has been continually evolving over the last 3 decades with more procedures now being preformed as a minimally invasive day case procedure. With lessons learnt over this time, the boundaries of SWL are being pushed with more complex stones being treated. We wanted to see the publication trends for SWL as reported on PubMed over the last 16-years.
Material & Methods
All published papers on ‘Urolithiasis’, ‘kidney stones’, ‘renal stones’, ‘ureteric stones’, ‘shockwave lithotripsy’, ‘extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy’, ‘SWL’, ‘ESWL’, and ‘lithotripsy’ were searched on PubMed over the last 16-years from 2000-2015. There were no language restrictions and all non-English language papers with published English abstracts were also included in our review. While review articles were included, case reports, laboratory and animal studies, and those papers that did not have a published abstract were excluded from our analysis. Data was divided into two 8-year periods, period-1 (2000-2007) and period-2 (2008-2015).
A total of 887 studies on SWL were published on PubMed 16 year period [English language – 729 (82%) and Non-English language – 158 (18%)]. The rates of SWL, despite some fluctuations, seem to have steadily decreased over the study period (p=0.2), although there was a clear fall in the number of Non-English articles published over time (Figure). When comparing the two time periods, there were a total of 486 articles published in period-1, which had decreased by almost 20% to 401 articles in period-2 (p=0.18). The number of English/Non-English language articles in period-1 and period-2 were 384/102 and 345/56 articles respectively, suggesting a drop of 10% and 45% for English and non-English articles during period-2.
Published papers on SWL have fallen over the last 8years (both in English and regional languages), highlighting a potential stagnation in this procedure or a threat/take over from other procedures such as ureteroscopy and minimally invasive percutaneous stone removal techniques.