Cavitation Plays a Vital Role in Stone Dusting During Short Pulse Holmium:YAG Laser Lithotripsy.
Objective: To investigate the mechanism of stone dusting in Holmium (Ho): YAG laser lithotripsy (LL). Materials and Methods: Cylindrical BegoStone samples (6 × 6 mm, H × D) were treated in water using a clinical Ho:YAG laser lithotripter in dusting mode (0.2-0.4 J with 70-78 μs in pulse duration, 20 Hz) at various fiber tip to stone standoff distances (SD = 0, 0.5, and 1 mm). Stone damage craters were quantified by optical coherence tomography and bubble dynamics were captured by high-speed video imaging. To differentiate the contribution of cavitation vs thermal ablation to stone damage, three additional experiments were performed. First, presoaked wet stones were treated in air to assess stone damage without cavitation. Second, the laser fiber was advanced at various offset distances (OSD = 0.25, 1, 2, 3, and 10 mm) from the tip of a flexible ureteroscope to alter the dynamics of bubble collapse. Third, stones were treated with parallel fiber to minimize photothermal damage while isolating the contribution of cavitation to stone damage. Results: Treatment in water resulted in 2.5- to 90-fold increase in stone damage compared with those produced in air where thermal ablation dominates. With the fiber tip placed at OSD = 0.25 mm, the collapse of the bubble was distracted away from the stone surface by the ureteroscope tip, leading to significantly reduced stone damage compared with treatment without the scope or with scope at large OSD of 3-10 mm. The average crater volume produced by parallel fiber orientation at 0.2 J after 100 pulses, where cavitation is the dominant mechanism of stone damage, was comparable with those produced by using perpendicular fiber orientation within SD = 0.25-1 mm. Conclusion: Cavitation plays a dominant role over photothermal ablation in stone dusting during short pulse Ho:YAG LL when 10 or more pulses are delivered to the same location.
Chen, J; Ho, DS; Xiang, G; Sankin, G; Preminger, GM; Lipkin, ME; Zhong, P
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