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European UrologyVolume 52, issue 2, pages 307-622, August 2007
Optimizing Shock Wave Lithotripsy in the 21st Century
Accepted 20 April 2007, Published online 2 May 2007, pages 344 - 354
Shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) has radically changed treatment of stone disease and appears to be the first option for the majority of patients. This review of current literature focused on suggestions for optimising technique, patient selection, results, and lithotriptor comparison for SWL.
Literature search for SWL was performed for recently published papers in English language. Topics of interest were treatment protocols; patient evaluation; pre-SWL prediction of outcome; lithotriptor technology; efficacy; and methods to assess the effects, decrease complications, and compare lithotriptors. Earlier classic papers on SWL and guidelines for stone disease were also reviewed.
Recent literature contained important recommendations about SWL concerning (1) methods to predict stone fragmentation; (2) identification of factors contributing to treatment failure for lower pole and ureteric calculi; (3) guidelines from urological associations; (4) manoeuvres and changes in SWL delivery (slower rate, twin-pulse technique) to increase efficacy and decrease complications; (5) clarification of the role of medical treatment (antibiotics, α-blockers); (6) role of SWL in calyceal stones, CIRF, and abnormal kidneys; (7) obesity and SWL; and (8) methods to evaluate and compare lithotriptors.
SWL delivered in an outpatient setting as an anaesthesia-free treatment is still considered the first option for the majority of stones with a minimal number of complications. Better understanding of the physics of shockwave delivery is required, together with treatment optimisation by limiting renal damage and better selection of patients because this approach will offer maximum benefit to patients and physicians, as well as more cost-effective treatment.
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