WVU Medicine Urology offers new technology for treatment of kidney stones

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Urologists at WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital are among the first to implement intrarenal pressure monitoring technology to reduce the risk of infection during the surgical treatment of kidney stones. The LithoVue Elite Single-Use Digital Flexible Ureteroscope System is FDA approved and offered in a limited market release.  

LithoVue Elite Single-Use Digital Flexible Ureteroscope System
LithoVue Elite Single-Use Digital Flexible Ureteroscope System

“Sepsis is one of the biggest risks when treating kidney stones,” Chad Morley, M.D., WVU Medicine urologist, said. “Research is showing that one of the leading factors for sepsis is increased pressure in the kidney during the operation. Previously, there wasn’t a way to measure that when you were treating kidney stones, but this new scope allows us to monitor real-time pressures while you are operating.”

The system combines imaging and pressure monitoring to allow surgeons to visualize the internal anatomy of the kidney and treat the stones that are causing blockages, while the pressure sensors serve as an early warning system to prevent damage to the kidneys or the backflow of bacteria into the bloodstream.

“If there is an infection in the urine, bladder, or kidney, increased pressure can cause it to enter the bloodstream,” Dr. Morley said. “This system lets us monitor how much pressure is building in the kidney from the blockage, urine production, and the fluids we use to improve visibility. If we see the pressure rising, we can remove fluid to decrease the pressure or end the procedure in favor of a safer approach.”  

Routine measurements of intrarenal pressures are also believed to reduce post-operative pain and risk of kidney damage during surgery.  

The device is being used at a very limited number of facilities during its initial launch and is expected to have more widespread availability in the future.

For more information on kidney stones and urologic health, visit WVUMedicine.org/Urology.