A Longitudinal Assessment of the Reporting Quality of Randomized Controlled Trials for Surgical Interventions to Treat Nephrolithiasis over 16 Years (2002 to 2017).

Transparently reported, high quality randomized controlled trials (RCTs) play a critical role in guiding evidence based clinical practice and informing evidence-based guidelines in patients with nephrolithiasis. Prior studies have found reporting quality to be low. We performed this study to assess whether the reporting of RCTs has improved over time.

This study was governed by an a priori protocol. We performed a systematic literature search for RCTs analyzing nephrolithiasis treatment. Selection of eligible studies and data abstraction was performed by two of three reviewers independently and in duplicate. We developed and pilot-tested a data extraction checklist based on the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) criteria on a scale of 0 to 25. Our primary outcome measure was the mean CONSORT score. We performed statistical hypothesis testing to compare scores between 2002-2006, 2007-2011 and 2012-2017 Results: A total of 203 studies, (2002-06: 38, 2007-11: 64; 2012-17: 101), met inclusion criteria. The most common procedure types studied were percutaneous nephrolithotomy (35.1%), shockwave lithotripsy (25.4%) and ureteroscopy (22.9%). Asia contributed an increasing proportion of studies (25.6%, 44.6% and 74.3%, respectively) in these three time-periods. The main journals of publication were the Journal of Endourology (23.9%), the Journal of Urology (19.5%) and Urology (8.3%). The mean ± SE CONSORT summary scores were 11.4 ± 0.4, (2002 to 2006), 12.1 ± 0.3, (2007 to 2011), and 13.3 ± 0.4 (p=0.003) reflecting an increase by 1.92 (95% CI: 0.86 - 2.98).

The number of RCTs investigating the use of urological devices to treat stone disease has substantially increased over time. There has been a small improvement in reporting quality, however this remains sub-optimal overall. Increased efforts to promote the transparent reporting of RCTs in endourology are warranted.

Journal of endourology. 2020 Jan 26 [Epub ahead of print]

Ellen Thompson, Andrew Lai, Luke Morrey, Michael Borofsky, Philipp Dahm

University of Minnesota, 5635, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States; ., University of Illinois System, 8101, Urology, Chicago, Illinois, United States; ., University of Minnesota, 5635, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States; ., University of Minnesota System, 311816, Department of Urology, 420 Delaware St, Box 394 Mayo, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, 55455; ., University of Minnesota, 5635, Urology, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States.