Next-Generation Single-Use Ureteroscopes: An In Vitro Comparison.
INTRODUCTION: Single-use ureteroscopes have been gaining popularity in recent years. We compare the optics, deflection, and irrigation flow of two novel single-use flexible ureteroscopes-the YC-FR-A and the NeoFlex-with contemporary reusable and single-use flexible ureteroscopes. METHODS: Five flexible ureteroscopes, YC-FR-A (YouCare Tech, China), NeoFlex (Neoscope, Inc., USA), LithoVue (Boston Scientific, USA), Flex-Xc (Karl Storz, Germany), and Cobra (Richard Wolf, Germany), were assessed in vitro for image resolution, distortion, field of view, depth of field, color representation, and grayscale imaging. Ureteroscope deflection and irrigation were also compared. RESULTS: The YC-FR-A showed a resolution of 5.04 lines/mm and 4.3% image distortion. NeoFlex showed a resolution of 17.9 lines/mm and 14.0% image distortion. No substantial difference was demonstrated regarding the other optic characteristics between the two. Across all tested ureteroscopes, single-use or reusable, the digital scopes performed best with regard to optics. The YC-FR-A had the greatest deflection at baseline, but lacks two-way deflection. The NeoFlex had comparable deflection at baseline to reusable devices. Both ureteroscopes had substantial loss of deflection with instruments in the working channel. The YC-FR-A had the greatest irrigation rate. The NeoFlex has comparable irrigation to contemporary ureteroscopes. CONCLUSIONS: The YouCare single-use fiberoptic flexible ureteroscope and NeoFlex single-use digital flexible ureteroscope perform comparably to current reusable ureteroscopes, possibly making each a viable alternative in the future. Newer YouCare single-use flexible ureteroscopes with a digital platform and two-way deflection may be more competitive, while the NeoFlex devices are undergoing rapid improvement as well. Further testing is necessary to validate the clinical performance and utility of these ureteroscopes, given the wide variety of single-use devices under development.
Tom, WR; Wollin, DA; Jiang, R; Radvak, D; Simmons, WN; Preminger, GM; Lipkin, ME
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