Benchtop Assessment of a New Single-Use Flexible Ureteroscope

J Endourol. 2021 Jun;35(6):755-760. doi: 10.1089/end.2020.0836. Epub 2020 Dec 22.


Introduction: Single-use flexible ureteroscopes are an increasingly popular alternative to reusable ureteroscopes. In this study, we performed a benchtop examination of the physical and optical properties of the new Dornier Axis™ (Webling, Germany) single-use ureteroscope. Methods: Ten new, never-used Dornier Axis ureteroscopes were assessed for optical performance, maximal tip deflection, and irrigation flow rate with an empty working channel and with insertion of 200 and 365 μm laser fibers, and a 1.9F nitinol basket. All ureteroscopes were then fully deflected 100 times in each direction, and maximal deflection angles were re-measured with and without instruments in the working channel. All measurements were performed in duplicate. In vitro optical testing for resolution, image distortion, and depth of field was performed and compared vs the LithoVue™ (Boston Scientific, Marlborough, MA) single-use ureteroscope. Statistical analyses using paired Wilcoxon rank-sum tests and Kruskal-Wallis multiple-group comparison tests were performed in R. Results: Median maximal deflection angles exceeded 300° in both directions before and after 100 full deflection cycles for all groups except the 365 μm laser fiber group. After 100 deflection cycles, there was no change in the majority of working instruments, except a decrease in upward flexion with an empty channel and 200 μm Moses™ laser fiber, and downward flexion with 200 μm Flexiva™ laser fiber (all <10°). After excluding the 365 μm fiber, there was no difference in multi-group comparison for upward and downward flexion pre- and post-cycling. Median flow rate through an empty channel was 48.0 mL/min, and it decreased significantly with all used instruments (p < 0.001). Compared with the LithoVue, the Axis demonstrated superior resolution at all tested distances and less distortion. Conclusions: The new Dornier Axis single-use ureteroscope demonstrates excellent tip deflection, which remains unchanged after 100 manual flexions in each direction. The Axis also demonstrates superior optical performance compared with the LithoVue in benchtop testing.

Keywords: laser lithotripsy; nephrolithiasis; single-use ureteroscope; ureteroscopy.

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Ureteroscopes*
  • Ureteroscopy*