By Rodrigues, P.L.; Rodrigues, N.F.; Fonseca, J.C.; Von Kr\"uger, M.A.; Pereira&
Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
Background: Kidney stone is a major universal health problem, affecting 10% of the population worldwide. Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is a first-line and established procedure for disintegration and removal of renal stones. Its surgical success depends on the precise needle puncture of renal calyces, which remains the most challenging task for surgeons. This work describes and tests a new ultrasound based system to alert the surgeon when undesirable anatomical structures are in between the puncture path defined through a tracked needle. Methods: Two circular ultrasound transducers were built with a single 3.3-MHz piezoelectric ceramic PZT SN8, 25.4 mm of radius and resin-epoxy matching and backing layers. One matching layer was designed with a concave curvature to work as an acoustic lens with long focusing. The A-scan signals were filtered and processed to automatically detect reflected echoes. Results: The transducers were mapped in water tank and tested in a study involving 45 phantoms. Each phantom mimics different needle insertion trajectories with a percutaneous path length between 80 and 150 mm. Results showed that the beam cross-sectional area oscillates around the ceramics radius and it was possible to automatically detect echo signals in phantoms with length higher than 80 mm. Conclusions: This new solution may alert the surgeon about anatomical tissues changes during needle insertion, which may decrease the need of X-Ray radiation exposure and ultrasound image evaluation during percutaneous puncture.