Dynamics of bubble oscillation in constrained media and mechanisms of vessel rupture in SWL.
Rupture of small blood vessels is a primary feature of the vascular injury associated with shock-wave lithotripsy (SWL) and cavitation has been implicated as a potential mechanism. To understand more precisely the underlying mechanical cause of the injury, the dynamics of SWL-induced bubble dynamics in constrained media were investigated. Silicone tubing and regenerated cellulose hollow fibers of various inner diameters (0.2 to 1.5 mm) were used to fabricate vessel phantoms, which were placed in a test chamber filled with castor oil so that cavitation outside the phantom could be suppressed. Degassed water seeded with 0.2% Albunex contrast agent was circulated inside the vessel phantom, and intraluminal bubble dynamics during SWL were examined by high-speed shadowgraph imaging and passive cavitation detection via a 20-MHz focused transducer. It was observed that, in contrast to the typical large and prolonged expansion and violent inertial collapse of SWL-induced bubbles in a free field, the expansion of the bubbles inside the vessel phantom was significantly constrained, leading to asymmetric elongation of the bubbles along the vessel axis and, presumably, much weakened collapse. The severity of the constraint is vessel-size dependent, and increases dramatically when the inner diameter of the vessel becomes smaller than 300 microm. Conversely, the rapid, large intraluminal expansion of the bubbles causes a significant dilation of the vessel wall, leading to consistent rupture of the hollow fibers (i.d. = 200 microm) after less than 20 pulses of shock wave exposure in a XL-1 lithotripter. The rupture is dose-dependent, and varies with the spatial location of the vessel phantom in the lithotripter field. Further, when the large intraluminal bubble expansion was suppressed by inversion of the lithotripter pressure waveform, rupture of the hollow fiber could be avoided even after 100 shocks. Theoretical calculation of SWL-induced bubble dynamics in blood confirms that the propensity of vascular injury due to intraluminal bubble expansion increases with the tensile pressure of the lithotripter shock wave, and with the reduction of the inner diameter of the vessel. It is suggested that selective truncation of the tensile pressure of the shock wave may reduce tissue injury without compromising the fragmentation capability of the lithotripter pulse.
Zhong, P; Zhou, Y; Zhu, S
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