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Previous studies have demonstrated that renal parenchymal injury following extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy is dependent upon shock wave power as well as the total number of shock waves administered. In order to determine the deleterious effects of temporal versus cumulative doses of shock wave administration, adult female rabbits were divided into five groups receiving either: 1000 shock waves in one session; 2000 shock waves in one session; 2000 shock waves in two sessions, one week apart; unilateral nephrectomy without lithotripsy; or anesthesia only as control population. One month following lithotripsy, renal functional studies for gamma glutamyl transferase and N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase revealed persistent enzymuria in the animals treated with 2000 shocks in one session. Pathologic studies in these animals confirmed an increased area of periglomerular and intratubular fibrosis when compared to animals managed by either 1000 shocks or 2000 shocks in divided doses (p < 0.01). These findings suggest the importance of avoiding single treatments with large doses of shock waves and favor the administration of multiple small-doses of shock waves to minimize renal damage during the treatment of patients with hard or large calculi.

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