Lithotripsy is the use acoustic shock waves to break up kidney stones, avoiding the need for surgery. Since 1980 lithotripsy has revolutionised the treatment of kidney stones and is generally the preferred treatment in 70% of cases. The mechanism by which the stone fails is not agreed upon. Further, possibly harmful side-effects to tissue are still being uncovered. Research is being carried out at Boston University to try and understand the mechanisms which lead to stone fragmenetation and tissue damage. The ultimate goal is to direct manufacturers towards the design of a safer more effective lithotripter.
This work is carried out as part of an NIH program project grant
(PPG) that is administered by:
Anatomy Dept., Indiana University Medical School
Other collaboration sites are:
Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington at Seattle
Graduate Aeronautics Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
A brief synposis from the National Institutes of Health on kidney stones.
A brief review of the Physics of Shock Wave Lithotripsy . R. O. Cleveland and J.A. McAteer “The Physics of Shock Wave Lithotripsy” Smith’s Textbook on Endourology, Eds. A. D. Smith, G. H. Badlani, D. H. Bagley, R. V. Clayman, S. G. Docimo, G. H. Jordan, L. R. Kavoussi, B. R. Lee, J. E. Lingeman, G. M. Preminger, J. W. Segura, (BC Decker Inc., Hamilton, ON, Canada, 2007) Chap. 38, pp. 317-332.
Pictures of kidney stones from Herring Laboratories.
Some lithotripsy manufacturers:
The National Institutes of Health
The Whitaker Foundation
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Last Updated Jan 2007