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Proceedings Paper

Comparison of holmium:YAG and thulium fiber lasers for lithotripsy
Author(s): Richard L. Blackmon; Pierce B. Irby; Nathaniel M. Fried
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Paper Abstract

The Holmium:YAG laser is currently the most common laser lithotripter. However, recent experimental studies have demonstrated that the Thulium fiber laser is also capable of vaporizing urinary stones. The high-temperature water absorption coefficient for the Thulium wavelength (μa = 160 cm-1 at λ = 1908 nm) is significantly greater than for the Holmium wavelength (μa = 28 cm-1 at λ = 2120 nm). We hypothesize that this should translate into more efficient laser lithotripsy using the Thulium fiber laser. This study directly compares stone vaporization rates for Holmium and Thulium fiber lasers. Holmium laser radiation pulsed at 3 Hz with 70 mJ pulse energy and 220 μs pulse duration was delivered through a 100-μm-core silica fiber to human uric acid (UA) and calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) stones, ex vivo (n = 10 each). Thulium fiber laser radiation pulsed at 10 Hz with 70 mJ pulse energy and 1 ms pulse duration was also delivered through a 100-μm fiber for the same sets of 10 stones. For same number of pulses and total energy (126 J) delivered to each stone, mass loss averaged 2.4 ± 0.6 mg (UA) and 0.7 ± 0.2 mg (COM) for Holmium laser and 12.6 ± 2.5 mg (UA) and 6.8 ± 1.7 (COM) for Thulium fiber laser. UA and COM stone vaporization rates for Thulium fiber laser averaged 5-10 times higher than for Holmium laser at 70 mJ pulse energies. With further development, the Thulium fiber laser may represent an alternative to the conventional Holmium laser for more efficient laser lithotripsy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 March 2010
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 7548, Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics VI, 75481G (2 March 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.839592
Show Author Affiliations
Richard L. Blackmon, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
Pierce B. Irby, Carolinas Medical Ctr. (United States)
Nathaniel M. Fried, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7548:
Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics VI
Anita Mahadevan-Jansen; Andreas Mandelis; Brian Jet-Fei Wong M.D.; Nikiforos Kollias; Henry Hirschberg M.D.; Kenton W. Gregory M.D.; Reza S. Malek; E. Duco Jansen; Guillermo J. Tearney; Steen J. Madsen; Bernard Choi; Justus F. R. Ilgner; Haishan Zeng; Laura Marcu, Editor(s)

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