Burst wave lithotripsy (BWL) is a new non-invasive method for stone comminution using bursts of sub-megahertz ultrasound. A porcine model of urolithiasis and techniques to implement BWL treatment has been developed to evaluate its effectiveness and acute safety. Six human calcium oxalate monohydrate stones (6–7 mm) were hydrated, weighed, and surgically implanted into the kidneys of three pigs. Transcutaneous stone treatments were performed with a BWL transducer coupled to the skin via an external water bath. Stone targeting and treatment monitoring were performed with a co-aligned ultrasound imaging probe. Treatment exposures were applied in three 10-minute intervals for each stone. If sustained cavitation in the parenchyma was observed by ultrasound imaging feedback, treatment was paused and the pressure amplitude was decreased for the remaining time. Peak negative focal pressures between 6.5 and 7 MPa were applied for all treatments. After treatment, stone fragments were removed from the kidneys. At least 50% of each stone was reduced to <2 mm fragments. 100% of four stones were reduced to <4 mm fragments. Magnetic resonance imaging showed minimal injury to the functional renal volume. This study demonstrated that BWL could be used to effectively fragment kidney stones with minimal injury.

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