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Appl Opt. 2003 May 1;42(13):2431-5.

Erbium:YAG laser lithotripsy by use of a flexible hollow waveguide with an end-scaling cap.

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Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, Aramaki Aoba, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8579, Japan.


An Er:YAG laser light delivery system composed of a polymer-coated silver hollow waveguide and a quartz sealing cap has been developed for calculus fragmentation. Sealing caps with various distal-end geometries were fabricated, and the focusing effects of these caps for Er:YAG laser light were measured both in air and in water. Owing to the high power capability of the quartz a beam of sealing caps, Er:YAG laser light with an output energy of 200 mJ and a repetition rate of 10 Hz was successfully transmitted in saline solution by use of the system. Calculus fragmentation experiments conducted in vitro showed that the delivery system is suitable for medical applications in lithotripsy. We also found that the cap with a focusing effect is more effective in cutting calculi. The deterioration of the sealing caps after calculus fragmentation is also discussed.

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