Background: Mechanical lithotripsy has become a well-accepted method of bile duct stone fragmentation and removal. The Olympus lithotripter (Olympus American, Melville, NY) is the standard reusable lithotripter at the institutions that participated in this study. A disposable device with a preassembled pistol grip may perform equally well and facilitate operation. Methods: Twenty patients with bile duct stones were evaluated as part of a multicenter prospective study. Data were obtained regarding stone size and number, bile duct diameter, and configuration, ease of cannulation, basket function, stone capture and crushing success, and complications. Results: The maximum stone size averaged 16.5 ± 1.2 mm (range 10 to 30 mm). Sixteen patients had multiple stones (median 5, range 2 to 12). The mean bile duct diameter was 20.5 ± 1.5 mm (range 12 to 38 mm). Cannulation was successful in all within 5 attempts. Basket deployment failed in 1 patient because of stone size and the basket was misshapen in 14. Bile duct clearance was complete in 16 subjects (80%), incomplete in 2 patients, and failed in 2 patients. Abnormal duct configuration (sigmoid, stricture) was noted in 2 of 4 patients with failed capture and 7 of 16 patients with successful clearance. No statistically significant difference was observed between the bile duct diameter, maximum stone size, number of stones, and successful clearance. Conclusion: The disposable lithotripter is easy to use and, compared with the published results for the reusable lithotripter, performs almost as well.
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