Campus Map

Jeff Thiel

Research Scientist/Engineer II






B.S. Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound, Seattle University, 1992


2000-present and while at APL-UW

First in-human burst wave lithotripsy for kidney stone comminution: Initial two case studies

Harper, J.D., I. Metzler, M.K. Hall, T.T. Chen, A.D. Maxwell, B.W. Cunitz, B. Dunmire, J. Thiel, J.C. Williams, M.R. Bailey, and M.D. Sorensen, "First in-human burst wave lithotripsy for kidney stone comminution: Initial two case studies," J. Endourol., EOR, doi:10.1089/end.2020.0725, 2020.

More Info

1 Nov 2020

Purpose: To test the effectiveness (Participant A) and tolerability (Participant B) of urinary stone comminution in the first in-human trial of a new technology, burst wave lithotripsy (BWL).

Materials and Methods: An investigational BWL and ultrasonic propulsion system was used to target a 7-mm kidney stone in the operating room before ureteroscopy (Participant A). The same system was used to target a 7.5 mm ureterovesical junction stone in clinic without anesthesia (Participant B).

Results: For Participant A, a ureteroscope inserted after 9 minutes of BWL observed fragmentation of the stone to < 2 mm fragments. Participant B tolerated the procedure without pain from BWL, required no anesthesia, and passed the stone on day 15.

Conclusions: The first in-human tests of BWL pulses were successful in that a renal stone was comminuted in < 10 minutes, and BWL was also tolerated by an awake subject for a distal ureteral stone.

In vitro evaluation of urinary stone comminution with a clinical burst wave lithotripsy system

Ramesh, S., T.T. Chen, A.D. Maxwell, B.W. Cunitz, B. Dunmire, J. Thiel, J.C. Williams, A. Gardner, Z. Liu, I. Metzler, J.D. Harper, M.D. Sorensen, and M.R. Bailey, "In vitro evaluation of urinary stone comminution with a clinical burst wave lithotripsy system," J. Endourol., 34, 1167-1173, doi:10.1089/end.2019.0873, 2020.

More Info

1 Nov 2020

Objective: Our goals were to validate stone comminution with an investigational burst wave lithotripsy (BWL) system in patient-relevant conditions and to evaluate the use of ultrasonic propulsion to move a stone or fragments to aid in observing the treatment endpoint.

Materials and Methods: The Propulse-1 system, used in clinical trials of ultrasonic propulsion and upgraded for BWL trials, was used to fragment 46 human stones (5–7 mm) in either a 15-mm or 4-mm diameter calix phantom in water at either 50% or 75% dissolved oxygen level. Stones were paired by size and composition, and exposed to 20-cycle, 390-kHz bursts at 6-MPa peak negative pressure (PNP) and 13-Hz pulse repetition frequency (PRF) or 7-MPa PNP and 6.5-Hz PRF. Stones were exposed in 5-minute increments and sieved, with fragments >2 mm weighed and returned for additional treatment. Effectiveness for pairs of conditions was compared statistically within a framework of survival data analysis for interval censored data. Three reviewers blinded to the experimental conditions scored ultrasound imaging videos for degree of fragmentation based on stone response to ultrasonic propulsion.

Results: Overall, 89% (41/46) and 70% (32/46) of human stones were fully comminuted within 30 and 10 minutes, respectively. Fragments remained after 30 minutes in 4% (1/28) of calcium oxalate monohydrate stones and 40% (4/10) of brushite stones. There were no statistically significant differences in comminution time between the two output settings (p = 0.44), the two dissolved oxygen levels (p = 0.65), or the two calyx diameters (p = 0.58). Inter-rater correlation on endpoint detection was substantial (Fleiss' kappa = 0.638, p < 0.0001), with individual reviewer sensitivities of 95%, 86%, and 100%.

Conclusions: Eighty-nine percent of human stones were comminuted with a clinical BWL system within 30 minutes under conditions intended to reflect conditions in vivo. The results demonstrate the advantage of using ultrasonic propulsion to disperse fragments when making a visual determination of breakage endpoint from the real-time ultrasound image.

Evidence of microbubbles on kidney stones in humans

Simon, J.C., J.R. Holm, J. Thiel, B. Dunmire, B.W. Cunitz, and M.R. Bailey, "Evidence of microbubbles on kidney stones in humans," Ultrasound Med. Biol., 46, 1802-1807, doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2020.02.010, 2020.

More Info

1 Jul 2020

The color Doppler ultrasound twinkling artifact has been found to improve detection of kidney stones with ultrasound; however, it appears on only ~60% of stones. Evidence from ex vivo kidney stones suggests twinkling arises from microbubbles stabilized in crevices on the stone surface. Yet it is unknown whether these bubbles are present on stones in humans. Here, we used a research ultrasound system to quantify twinkling in humans with kidney stones in a hyperbaric chamber. Eight human patients with non-obstructive kidney stones previously observed to twinkle were exposed to a maximum pressure of 4 atmospheres absolute (ATA) while breathing air, except during the 10-min pause at 1.6 ATA and while the pressure decreased to 1 ATA, during which patients breathed oxygen to minimize the risk of decompression sickness. A paired one-way t-test was used to compare the mean twinkle power at each pressure pause with baseline twinkling, with p < 0.05 considered to indicate significance. Results revealed that exposure to 3 and 4 ATA of pressure significantly reduced twinkle power by averages of 35% and 39%, respectively, in 7 patients (p = 0.04); data from the eighth patient were excluded because of corruption. This study supports the theory that microbubbles are present on kidney stones in humans.

More Publications

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center