Evaluation of the shock-wave pattern for endoscopic electrohydraulic lithotripsy

Surg Endosc. 1995 Jan;9(1):42-5. doi: 10.1007/BF00187883.


We evaluated the electrical events and the resulting shock waves of the spark discharge for electrohydraulic lithotripsy at the tip of a 3.3F probe. Spark generation was achieved by variable combinations of voltage and capacity. The effective electrical output was determined by means of a high-voltage probe, a current coil, and a digital oscilloscope. Peak pressures, rise times, and pulse width of the pressure profiles were recorded using a polyvinylidene difluoride needle hydrophone in 0.9% NaCl solution at a distance of 10 mm. The peak pressure and the slope of the shock front depend solely on the voltage, while the pulse width was correlated with the capacity. Pulses of less than 1-microsecond duration can be obtained when low capacity is applied and the inductivity of the cables and plugs is kept at a low level. Using chalk as a stone model it was proven that short pulses of high peak pressure provided by a low capacity and a high voltage have a greater impact on fragmentation than the corresponding broader shock waves of lower peak pressure carrying the same energy.

MeSH terms

  • Electricity
  • Endoscopy, Digestive System
  • Lithotripsy*
  • Models, Biological