, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 224-232

Biological effects of shock waves

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Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy has become established worldwide as the method of choice for the treatment of nephrolithiasis and ureterolithiasis over the last 10 years. Although initial studies showed no damaging effects of the shock waves on organs and tissues, numerous recent reports have presented evidence for severe acute effects and chronic complications after shock wave treatment. The pathophysiological effects on kidneys and the histopathological effects on organs or tissues in man and animal, and also the effects on cells in culture and tumors are sumarized. Suspended and immobilized cell cultures were used to characterize and quantify the efficacy of shock wave. Extended applications of shock waves and possible modifications to shock wave generators are discussed.

Dedicated to Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Eisenmenger on the occasion of his 60th birthday