A scoping review of the clinical efficacy and safety of the novel thulium fiber laser: The rising star of laser lithotripsy
Keywords:Thulium, Kidney, Stones, Lithotripsy, Surgery, Urology
Introduction: The holmium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Ho:YAG) laser is the gold standard for intracorporeal lithotripsy. Preclinical reports suggest the thulium laser fibre (TFL) may possess advantages over the Ho:YAG laser, including improved lithotripsy efficacy, enhanced safety, and lower costs. Although the TFL is well-characterized in-vitro, there are no reviews examining TFL lithotripsy in a clinical setting.
Methods: A review of the literature was conducted using a systematic search of MEDLINE, PubMed, and Embase, yielding a total of 130 manuscripts published up to May 2020. Two independent reviewers selected studies for screening, eligibility, and inclusion into the scoping review. Following the title, abstract, and full-text review, 14 articles were analyzed.
Results: Within these articles, there were 13 prospective cohort studies and one case series. The average sample size was 100 participants. Study followup durations ranged from four weeks to three months. TFL had comparable stone-free rates to Ho:YAG lasers and improved operating time. TFL was subjectively favorable in terms of stone retropulsion, stone fragmentation, endoscopic maneuverability, and endoscopic visibility. TFL appeared clinically safe and did not result in any major complications. Many studies were underpowered and non-peer-reviewed, demonstrating the need for additional research in this field.
Conclusions: The TFL has the potential to catalyze a paradigm shift in laser lithotripsy. While the objective of this scoping review was to describe the contemporary landscape of the literature, it is important to consider that inferences posed by the studies described herein must be tempered by the low quality of available evidence.
How to Cite
You, the Author(s), assign your copyright in and to the Article to the Canadian Urological Association. This means that you may not, without the prior written permission of the CUA:
- Post the Article on any Web site
- Translate or authorize a translation of the Article
- Copy or otherwise reproduce the Article, in any format, beyond what is permitted under Canadian copyright law, or authorize others to do so
- Copy or otherwise reproduce portions of the Article, including tables and figures, beyond what is permitted under Canadian copyright law, or authorize others to do so.
The CUA encourages use for non-commercial educational purposes and will not unreasonably deny any such permission request.
You retain your moral rights in and to the Article. This means that the CUA may not assert its copyright in such a way that would negatively reflect on your reputation or your right to be associated with the Article.
The CUA also requires you to warrant the following:
- That you are the Author(s) and sole owner(s), that the Article is original and unpublished and that you have not previously assigned copyright or granted a licence to any other third party;
- That all individuals who have made a substantive contribution to the article are acknowledged;
- That the Article does not infringe any proprietary right of any third party and that you have received the permissions necessary to include the work of others in the Article; and
- That the Article does not libel or violate the privacy rights of any third party.