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J Endourol. 2013 Oct;27(10):1267-71. doi: 10.1089/end.2013.0234. Epub 2013 Aug 9.

Histotripsy effects on the bladder trigone: functional and histologic consequences in the canine model.

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1 Department of Urology, University of Michigan , Ann Arbor, Michigan.



Histotripsy is an extracorporeal therapeutic ultrasound (US) technology, where high-amplitude acoustic energy is applied to targeted tissue. Previous research has demonstrated the feasibility, safety, and effectiveness of histotripsy tissue homogenization and debulking of the prostate in the canine model. Before translating this technology for human use, it is prudent to examine the susceptibility of critical periprostatic structures to cavitation injury in the event of histotripsy mistargeting. In this study, we sought to characterize the tissue effects and biologic response of directly treating the bladder trigone with histotripsy.


In eight anesthetized canines, 750,000 histotripsy pulses were applied uniformly across a 2×1.5-cm area encompassing the bladder trigone and ureteral orifices. Prostate and bladder trigone were harvested immediately after treatment (2 subjects) or at 14 days (6 subjects). Flexible cystourethroscopy, US imaging, and creatinine levels were obtained at intervals until harvest, 14 days after treatment. In one control subject, harvested at 2 days, the same treatment algorithm was applied to the prostate.


Transrectal US imaging revealed a cavitation bubble cloud on the surface of the bladder trigone and progressive development of tissue edema during treatment. Flexible cystourethroscopy immediately after treatment confirmed edema and erythema of the trigone. In the six subjects survived 2 weeks after treatment, one incidence of transient, self-limited ureteral obstruction was noted based on hydronephrosis and creatinine levels. At harvest, ureteral orifices were confirmed patent by passage of a guide wire. Histologic evaluation revealed hemorrhage acutely with mild localized fibrosis at 14 days.


In this study, designed along the lines of a worst-case, destructive testing scenario, direct targeting of the bladder trigone with supratherapeutic histotripsy failed to induce significant tissue damage or clinical complication. These results are reassuring and will guide treatment strategy in upcoming human clinical trials of histotripsy treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia.

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