Introduction: We performed systematic review to assess the effects of different medical and surgical management of urinary stones in children. Methods: We performed a comprehensive search using multiple databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials), trials registries (World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform Search Portal and ClinicalTrials. gov), and abstract proceedings of major urological and pediatric urology meetings, with no restrictions on the language of publication or publication status, up until December 2017. We included all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs. Two review authors independently assessed the eligibility of studies for inclusion, extracted data, and assessed risk of bias in accordance with the Cochrane “Risk of bias” tool. We performed statistical analyses using a random-effects model and assessed the quality of the evidence according to GRADE. Results: We included 14 studies with a total of 978 randomized participants in our review, informing seven comparisons with shock wave lithotripsy, percutaneous nephrolithotripsy, ureterorenoscopy (regardless of the type of lithotripsy), open stone surgery, and medical expulsive therapy. There was very low quality of evidence in the most comparisons with regards to the effectiveness and adverse events for the treatment of pediatric upper renal tract stone disease. Conclusions: Based on mostly very low-quality evidence for most comparisons and outcomes, we are uncertain about the effect of nearly all medical and surgical interventions to treat stone disease in children. There is a critical need for better-quality trials assessing patient-important outcomes in children with stone disease to inform future guidelines on the management of this condition.
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