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J Urol. 1989 Feb;141(2):275-9.

First clinical experience with a Q-switched neodymium:YAG laser for urinary calculi.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Technische Universit√§t M√ľnchen, Federal Republic of Germany.


Animal studies using a high intensity nanosecond pulsed neodymium:YAG laser did not reveal any serious tissue damage. Following these investigations patient treatment was begun in June 1987. Laser energy of a neodymium:YAG laser with an 8 nsec. pulse duration and a repetition rate of up to 50 Hz. was coupled into a flexible 600 resp. 400 micron. quartz fiber. Laser-induced breakdown was created with 35 to 50 mJ. at the fiber tip, resulting in a shock wave that disintegrated the calculus into tiny fragments. A total of 56 patients with 58 calculi (54 ureteral and 4 kidney stones) was treated from June 1987 to March 1988. Of the calculi 48 could be fragmented completely, while 6 others were reduced to a size small enough to be removed with forceps. Four stones composed of calcium oxalate monohydrate could not be disintegrated. The combination of laser stone disintegration with flexible ureterorenoscopy implies the possibility of an atraumatic, 1-step procedure for fragmentation of ureteral and kidney calculi.

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