Shielded Electrohydraulic Lithotripsy of Urinary and Biliary Calculi: A New Possibility

  • Krishna M. Bhatta
  • David I. Rosen
  • Stephen P. Dretler


A new transurethral lithotripsy concept, using an electrohydraulically generated shock wave driving in a jackhammer manner a hollow spring with a metal end cap, was tested in vitro and shown to fragment effectively urinary and biliary calculi. The prototype device was fabricated from a hollow stainless steel expansion spring (1.6 mm outer diameter, 12 mm long). The primary electrohydraulic lithotripter used was the Wolf model (Richard Wolf Medical Instruments Corp.) 2137.50 with a 3.3 Fr. probe placed inside the prototype device and securely attached using a short piece of hypodermic tubing. The mechanism worked by confined electrohydraulic discharge driving the spring and the cap to impact the stone. The results show that shielded electrohydraulic lithotripsy is effective in fragmenting both urinary and biliary calculi and is only 23% less efficient than an unshielded electrohydraulic discharge. However, the advantages to a shielded instrument may be substantial. When the shielded electrohydraulic device was discharged against the experimenter’s finger, no pain was felt. Shielded electrohydraulic lithotripsy in the future may be used for ureterolithotripsy without the need for anesthesia or a ureteroscope.


Shock Wave Shock Wave Lithotripsy Cavitation Bubble Ureteral Stone Ureteral Calculus 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krishna M. Bhatta
    • 1
  • David I. Rosen
    • 2
  • Stephen P. Dretler
    • 1
  1. 1.Massachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Physical Sciences, Inc.AndoverUSA

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