Preclinical comparison of superpulse thulium fiber laser and a holmium:YAG laser for lithotripsy.World J Urol. 2020 Feb; 38(2):497-503.WJ
A superpulse (500 W peak power) thulium fiber laser operating at a 1940 nm wavelength, suitable for lithotripsy, has recently been developed. The goal of this study was to compare stone fragmentation and dusting performance of the prototype superpulse thulium fiber laser with leading commercially available, high-power holmium:YAG lithotripters (wavelength 2100 nm) in a controlled in vitro environment.
Two experimental setups were designed for investigating stone ablation rates and retropulsion effects, respectively. In addition, the ablation setup enabled water temperature measurements during stone fragmentation in the laser-stone interaction zone. Human uric acid (UA) and calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) stones were used for ablation experiments, whereas standard BegoStone phantoms were utilized in retropulsion experiments. The laser settings were matched in terms of pulse energy, pulse repetition rate, and average power.
At equivalent settings, thulium fiber laser ablation rates were higher than those for holmium:YAG laser in both dusting mode (threefold for COM stones and 2.5-fold for UA stones) and fragmentation mode (twofold for UA stones). For single-pulse retropulsion experiments, the threshold for onset of stone retropulsion was two to four times higher for thulium fiber laser. The holmium:YAG laser generated significantly stronger retropulsion effects at equal pulse energies. The water temperature elevation near the laser-illuminated volume did not differ between the two lasers.
Distinctive features of the thulium fiber laser (optimal wavelength and long pulse duration) resulted in faster stone ablation and lower retropulsion in comparison to the holmium:YAG laser.