Fedele, F., Coleman, A.J., Leighton, T.G., White, P.R. and Hurrell, A.M.
Development of a new diagnostic sensor for extra-corporeal shock-wave lithotripsy
Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1, . (doi:10.1088/1742-6596/1/1/031).
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Extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy is the leading technique used in urology for the non-invasive treatment of kidney and ureteric stones. The stone is comminuted by thousands of ultrasound shocks, into fragments small enough to be naturally passed. Since the technique was introduced in the 1980 different generations of lithotripters have been developed. Nevertheless the alignment systems (x-ray, ultrasound) still have some limitations (indeed, the tighter focusing of newer lithotripter reduces the tolerance for misalignment) and there is no capability for on-line monitoring of the degree of fragmentation of the stone. There is 50% incidence of re-treatments, possibly due to these deficiencies. The objective of this research is to design a new passive acoustic sensor, exploiting the secondary acoustic emission generated during the treatment, which could be used as a diagnostic device for lithotripsy. With a passive cylindrical cavitation detector, developed by the National Physical Laboratory, it was possible to detect these emissions in a laboratory lithotripter, and it was shown that they contain information on the degree of stone fragmentation and stone location. This information could be used to perform the desired monitoring and to improve the stone targeting. In collaboration with Precision Acoustic Ltd, some clinical prototypes were developed and tested to verify the relevance of these preliminary results. Clinical results are presented.
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