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J Korean Radiol Soc. 1988 Aug;24(4):630-636. Korean. Original Article.
Kim KS , Park SM , Lee JH , Kim YG , Song KS , Lee KS , Lee JB , Kim SJ , Chang ST .

Although many alternative treatment technics have been proposed recently for gallstone to substitutecholecystectomy, the extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy(ESWL) for gallbladder stones has rarely been tried. Wehave carried out a series of experiments to evaluate how effective the ESWL for gallbladder stones is and how safethis procedure is. At first, invitro shock wave application was carried out to 10 gallbladder stones which wereobtained from human gallbladder, Secondly, gallbladder stones were implanted to canine gallbladder and treatedwith shock wave. Lastly, a total of 41 volunteers with confirmed gallbladder stones were treated with shock waveand combined oral administration of ursodeoxycholic acid. In the in vitro experiment, all of the 10 gallstoneswere fragmented with variable firing rates and duration. In animal experiment, the implanted stones weresuccessfully fragmented and the organs included in the pathway of shock wave were proved to be intacthistologically. In human study, complete disappearance of gallstones was noted in 78.6% of patients with singleradiolucent gallbladder stones, smaller than 2.5cm in the longest diameter. Two patients underwent cholecystectomyafter ESWL due to sudden colic attack. One patient had experienced an episode of mild transient obstructivejaundice. It may be concluded that the ESWL for gallbladder stones is an effective and safe method of treatment ofgallbladder stones in the seleceted cases, for example, small radiolucent stones, and the further study is neededto establish improved technology of the ESWL for gallbladder stones.

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