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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2000 Feb;11(2):310-8.

The effect of discharge voltage on renal injury and impairment caused by lithotripsy in the pig.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis 46202-5120, USA.


The present study was designed to determine the effects of shock wave voltage (kV) on lesion size and renal function induced by shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) in the 6- to 8-wk-old pig. Each SWL-treated pig received 2000 shock waves at 12, 18, or 24 kV to the lower pole calyx of one kidney. A group of sham SWL pigs served as time controls. Bilateral GFR, renal plasma flow (RPF), and para-aminohippurate (PAH) extraction were measured 1 h before and 1 and 4 h after SWL in all treated and sham animals. The kidneys were removed at the end of each experiment for morphometric analysis. The SWL-induced lesion increased significantly in size as shock wave energy was increased from 12 to 24 kV. PAH extraction, a measure of tubular function, was not significantly affected at 12 kV, was transiently reduced at 18 kV, and was reduced for the duration of the experiment at 24 kV. GFR and RPF, however, were significantly and similarly reduced at the 1 h post-SWL period at all three kilovolt levels. At the 4-h post-SWL period, both GFR and RPF had returned to baseline levels. Lesion size and tubular injury were correlated with changes in kilovoltage, while changes in renal hemodynamics were already maximal at the lowest discharge voltage. These findings suggest that renal microvessels are highly sensitive to shock waves and that frank injury to tubules and vessels may be more closely related to discharge energy than is renal blood flow.

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