Studies were performed with an interest in determining a pressure threshold for extracorporeal shock wave induced renal damage. Histological evidence of intraparenchymal hemorrhage was used as an indicator of tissue trauma. Depilated C3H mice were anesthetized and placed on a special frame to enhance visualization and treatment of the kidneys in situ. A Wolf electrohydraulic generator and 9 French probe designed for endoscopic use were utilized to expose the kidneys to 10 double spherically divergent shock waves. Measurements of the shock waves revealed two positive pressure peaks of similar magnitude for each spark discharge. The kidneys were exposed to different peak pressures by choice of distance from the spark source and were removed immediately after treatment for histologic processing. A dose response was noted with severe corticomedullary damage apparent following 15 to 20 MPa shocks. Hemorrhage was more apparent in the medulla where evidence of damage could be seen following pressures as low as three to five MPa. When a latex membrane was interposed to prevent possible collapse of the initial bubble from the spark source against the skin surface, histological evaluation revealed substantial reduction of severe tissue damage associated with the highest pressures tested, 20 MPa. However, the threshold level for evidence of hemorrhage remained about three to five MPa. Hydrophonic measurements indicated that the membrane allowed transmission of the acoustic shock waves and suggested that collapse of the bubble generated by electrohydraulic probes may have local effects due to a cavitation-like mechanism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas