Pregnancy is a contraindication to extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) because of its possible harm to the embryo or fetus caused by shock waves or ionizing radiation. In this study timed-pregnant rats were subjected to shock waves early in gestation using a lithotriptor having ultrasound imaging. In a pilot group undergoing immediate laparotomy, it was determined to what extent the pelvic structures were effected. Then a test group was exposed to shock waves and carried to near term pregnancy along with an identical group of pregnant, sham procedure rats. At laparotomy all were inspected for fetal viability, fetal abnormalities, and maternal organ damage. Fetuses located nearest the focal area of maximum shock wave energy showed lower mean weight than controls. There was no recognizable gross or microscopic fetal damage.
- shock waves
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