Trading kidney stones with sound during shock wave lithotripsy
Kracht, Jonathan M
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The prevalence of kidney stones has increased significantly over the past decades. One of the primary treatments for kidney stones is shock wave lithotripsy which focuses acoustic shock waves onto the stone in order to fragment it into pieces that are small enough to pass naturally. This typically requires a few thousand shock waves delivered at a rate of about 2 Hz. Although lithotripsy is the only non-invasive treatment option for kidney stones, both acute and chronic complications have been identified which could be reduced if fewer shock waves were used. One factor that could be used to reduce the number of shock waves is accounting for the motion of the stone which causes a portion of the delivered shock waves to miss the stone, yielding no therapeutic benefit. Therefore identifying when the stone is not in focus would allow tissue to be spared without affecting fragmentation. The goal of this thesis is to investigate acoustic methods to track the stone in real-time during lithotripsy in order to minimize poorly-targeted shock waves. A relatively small number of low frequency ultrasound transducers were used in pulse-echo mode and a novel optimization routine based on time-of-flight triangulation is used to determine stone location. It was shown that the accuracy of the localization may be estimated without knowing the true stone location. This method performed well in preliminary experiments but the inclusion of tissue-like aberrating layers reduced the accuracy ofthe localization. Therefore a hybrid imaging technique employing DORT (Decomposition of the Time Reversal Operator) and the MUSIC (Multiple Signal Classification) algorithm was developed. This method was able to localize kidney stones to within a few millimeters even in the presence of an aberrating layer. This would be sufficient accuracy for targeting lithotripter shock waves. The conclusion of this work is that tracking kidney stones with low frequency ultrasound should be effective clinically.
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