Urological Research

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 321–326 | Cite as

Blood vessel rupture by cavitation

  • Hong Chen
  • Andrew A. Brayman
  • Michael R. Bailey
  • Thomas J. Matula


Cavitation is thought to be one mechanism for vessel rupture during shock wave lithotripsy treatment. However, just how cavitation induces vessel rupture remains unknown. In this work, a high-speed photomicrography system was set up to directly observe the dynamics of bubbles inside blood vessels in ex vivo rat mesenteries. Vascular rupture correlating to observed bubble dynamics were examined by imaging bubble extravasation and dye leakage. The high-speed images show that bubble expansion can cause vessel distention, and bubble collapse can lead to vessel invagination. Liquid jets were also observed to form. Our results suggest that all three mechanisms, vessel distention, invagination and liquid jets, can contribute to vessel rupture.


Cavitation Vessel rupture High-speed imaging 



Work supported by NIH grants EB000350, AR053652, DK043881 and DK070618.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hong Chen
    • 1
  • Andrew A. Brayman
    • 1
  • Michael R. Bailey
    • 1
  • Thomas J. Matula
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Industrial and Medical Ultrasound, Applied Physics LaboratoryUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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