Cavitation Effects: A Possible Cause of Tissue Injury During Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy
The mechanism of trauma to tissue during extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is unknown, but one possible mechanism is the occurrence of cavitation bubbles during treatment. The presence of cavitation bubbles was demonstrated in a series of experiments utilizing high-speed cameras. Cavitation bubbles generate a secondary shock wave as they collapse. Typically, they collapse in an asymmetric fashion, resulting in the emission of a liquid jet. This liquid jet may have significant destructive effects on tissues exposed to ESWL.