We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App




Events

ATTENTION: Due to the COVID-19 PANDEMIC, many events are being rescheduled for a later date, converted into virtual venues, or altogether cancelled. Please check with the event organizer or website prior to planning for any forthcoming event.

Focused Ultrasound Bursts Offer Alternative for Noninvasive Treatment of Kidney Stones

By MedImaging International staff writers
Posted on 25 Mar 2022
Print article
Image: Burst wave lithotripsy promises a new approach for noninvasive treatment of kidney stones (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)
Image: Burst wave lithotripsy promises a new approach for noninvasive treatment of kidney stones (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Kidney stones are a very common condition and while many of them pass on their own, other treatments are sometimes needed. Some fairly small stones can be treated using a technique called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), using shock waves to break up the stones so that they will be more likely to pass on their own. The ESWL procedure is performed in a hospital or clinic, typically with the patient under sedation. However, an innovative technique called burst wave lithotripsy (BWL) may provide an effective, more accessible alternative for noninvasive treatment of kidney stones, according to initial human studies.

Using focused ultrasound bursts to break up kidney stones, BWL provides a promising new approach to avoiding the high costs and healthcare burden of kidney stone treatment, according to researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine (Seattle, WAA, USA). For several reasons, BWL could be an important practical advance in the management of kidney stones. Many patients make multiple visits to the emergency department while waiting for definitive treatment of their kidney stones, often requiring opioids for pain management. Some patients require repeated treatment, even after surgery or ESWL.

In contrast to the shock waves used in ESWL, the BWL procedure uses "short harmonic bursts" of ultrasound energy – potentially allowing the stones to be broken up in a shorter procedure without the need for sedation or anesthesia. Pre-clinical studies supported the effectiveness of BWL in breaking up experimental stones of varying size and composition. For the next step in developing the procedure, the researchers performed initial studies in human patients with kidney stones. The patients were undergoing a surgical procedure, called ureteroscopy, that is used to treat larger stones. Before that treatment, the stones were treated with a short period of BWL – no longer than 10 minutes. Using the ureteroscope, the researchers were able to directly observe how well the ultrasound waves worked in breaking up stones, as well as observing any injury to the kidney tissues.

In the study, BWL was used in 19 patients to target 25 confirmed stones. Overall, a median of 90% of the stone volume was completely broken up (comminuted) within the brief treatment period. 39% of the stones were completely fragmented while 52% were partially fragmented. Most of the stone fragments measured less than two millimeters – small enough that they would be easily able to pass on their own, without much pain. Examination through the ureteroscope showed mild or no tissue injury related to the BWL procedure, consisting mainly of mild bleeding.

The new results "are a step toward an office-based lithotripsy for awake patients," the researchers conclude. They plan further studies toward determining whether the BWL technique can meet their ultimate goal of a "noninvasive, 30-minute treatment in the clinic without anesthesia."

Related Links:
University of Washington School of Medicine 

Gold Supplier
Ultrasound Transducer/Probe Cleaner
Transeptic Cleaning Solution
New
Portable Color Doppler Ultrasound System
P11 PLUS
New
Elevating X-Ray Table
PROGNOST F
New
High Frequency X-Ray Generator
SHFR

Print article
Radcal

Channels

MRI

view channel
Image: MRI scan showing the fetus and placental compartments (Photo courtesy of WUSTL)

New MRI Method Automatically Detects Placental Health during Pregnancy

Early monitoring of the placenta can improve detection and prevention of pregnancy complications, such as preterm birth, fetal growth disorders and preeclampsia. Currently, standard MRI analysis methods... Read more

Nuclear Medicine

view channel
Image: Tracking radiation treatment in real time promises safer, more effective cancer therapy (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Real-Time 3D Imaging Provides First-of-Its-Kind View of X-Rays Hitting Inside Body During Radiation Therapy

Radiation is used in treatment for hundreds of thousands of cancer patients each year, bombarding an area of the body with high energy waves and particles, usually X-rays. The radiation can kill cancer... Read more

General/Advanced Imaging

view channel
Image: CZT gamma detector for SPECT imaging (Photo courtesy of Kromek)

Low-Dose Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) Could Improve Cancer Detection in Dense Breast Tissue

Traditional mammography is often less able to clearly image tumors due to the density of the breast tissue. Molecular breast imaging (MBI) technology uses a radioactive tracer that ‘lights up’ areas of... Read more

Imaging IT

view channel
Image: The new Medical Imaging Suite makes healthcare imaging data more accessible, interoperable and useful (Photo courtesy of Google Cloud)

New Google Cloud Medical Imaging Suite Makes Imaging Healthcare Data More Accessible

Medical imaging is a critical tool used to diagnose patients, and there are billions of medical images scanned globally each year. Imaging data accounts for about 90% of all healthcare data1 and, until... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2023 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.