OBJECTIVE : To compare the safety and efficacy of percutaneous nephrolithotripsy (PCNL) in supine versus prone position for patients with renal or upper ureteral calculi. METHODS : A systematic search of Pubmed, Embase and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials was performed to identify all eligible studies. All included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were evaluated based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. After quality assessment and date extraction, a meta-analysis was performed using RevMan 5.3 software. RESULTS : A total of 15 RCTs with 1474 patients were included in our meta-analysis. Pooled data showed that PCNL in supine position could significantly reduce the operative time [weighted mean difference (WMD) -12.02, 95% confidence interval (CI) -20.49 to -3.54, p = 0.005] and rate of fever [risk ratio (RR) 0.67, 95% CI 0.46 to 0.97, p = 0.03] compared to prone position. In addition, no significant differences could be found between groups in stone-free rate (p = 0.31), hospital stay (p = 0.59) and rate of overall complications (p = 0.11), mainly including urinary leakage (p = 0.83), pleural effusion (p = 0.74) and blood transfusion (p = 0.58). CONCLUSIONS : The current study found comparable stone-free rate and significant lower rate of postoperative fever in supine PCNL compared with prone PCNL. PCNL in supine position could be a safe and efficient choice for patients with renal or upper ureteral calculi.