Kidney stones are common in cats and can obstruct urine flow, resulting in severe pain and even death. Medication and fluid therapy have low success rates for treating these obstructions, and advanced surgeries are needed to remove or bypass the obstructing stone. Unfortunately, surgery can have serious short and long term complications. Furthermore, advanced surgical procedures can be cost prohibitive.
A group of engineers at the University of Washington have developed a revolutionary new method to treat kidney stones using an ultrasound system called burst wave lithotripsy. Sound waves are delivered from outside the body to fragment stones, thus eliminating the need for surgery. Burst wave lithotripsy has proven safe and effective when tested in a pig model and an ongoing human clinical trial. We teamed with this group to design and build a burst wave lithotripsy system for use in cats. The system was tested in a laboratory setting and was effective at rapidly breaking up feline stones (<10 minutes to fragment the stones into pieces that can pass). This system could prove safer, faster, and more cost effective than current surgical methods.
This is a pilot study to test the safety and success of burst wave lithotripsy for treatment of obstructing stones in cats. Up to three cats will undergo general anesthesia for the procedure and be hospitalized for three days post-treatment for close monitoring and care. Outpatient monitoring will also occur at 2 and 12 weeks. If the treatment is not successful, the owner can elect surgery