History of shock wave lithotripsy

Delius, Michael
July 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 524 Issue 1, p23
Academic Journal
The first reports on the fragmentation of human calculi with ultrasound appeared in the fifties. Initial positive results with an extracorporeal approach with continuous wave ultrasound could, however, not be reproduced. A more promising result was found by generating the acoustic energy either in pulsed or continuous form directly at the stone surface. The method was applied clinically with success. Extracorporeal shock-wave generators unite the principle of using single ultrasonic pulses with the principle of generating the acoustic energy outside the body and focusing it through the skin and body wall onto the stone. Häusler and Kiefer reported the first successful contactfree kidney stone destruction by shock waves. They had put the stone in a water filled cylinder and generated a shock wave with a high speed water drop which was fired onto the water surface. To apply the new principle in medicine, both Häusler and Hoff's group at Dornier company constructed different shock wave generators for the stone destruction; the former used a torus-shaped reflector around an explosion wire, the latter the electrode-ellipsoid system. The former required open surgery to access the kidney stone, the latter did not. It was introduced into clinical practice after a series of experiments in Munich.


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