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Ultrasound to stop kidney injuries

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Research suggests that ultrasound can be used to prevent a common kidney injury that frequently follows major surgery.  After research on mice discovered the advantages of ultrasound when operating on kidneys – recently published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology – researches believe that this could quite easily be adapted for human use.

Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) commonly develops after major surgery, such as heart operations, due to the kidneys being deprived of blood flow during the procedure.  AKI then triggers a sudden loss of kidney function, which develops quickly in already sick patients.  Once AKI has developed, it is difficult to find successful treatment options.

Recovered with healthy kidneys

When the University of Virginia team exposed anesthetised mice to ultrasound – by using a clinical imaging system 24 hours prior to blood supply disruption – the mice recovered with healthy kidneys and a fully restored blood supply to the kidneys.  The research suggests that the ultrasound stimulates an anti-inflammatory trigger from the spleen, which then protects the kidneys.

Dr Mark Okusa, who led the study, said: “Our studies using non-invasive ultrasound now provide us with an active treatment that appears to be simple, effective, and nontoxic for the prevention of acute kidney injury.

The research suggests a similar form of therapy could provide effective injury prevention for other major organs as well, seeing as this is the first time that such a treatment has resulted in the prevention of a tissue/organ injury.

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