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Prospective evaluation of flexible ureteroscopes with a novel evaluation tool
Department of Urology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Oct  2017 (Vol.  24, Issue  5, Pages( 9004 - 9010)
PMID: 28971788


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    Assess the function and handling in the clinical setting of three different types of reusable or disposable ureteroscopes using a novel, comprehensive flexible ureteroscope evaluation tool.


    Urologists used a fiberoptic (Olympus URF-P5/P6), digital reusable (Storz Flex Xc), or a new digital disposable ureteroscope (Boston Scientific LithoVue) during ureteroscopic laser lithotripsy. An investigator-designed evaluation tool was used to prospectively assess the performance and handling of the ureteroscopes related to user comfort, maneuverability, efficiency, and various mechanical qualities. After each procedure, surgeons involved in each case who used the ureteroscope completed the written evaluation of the ureteroscope he/she used independently of one another.


    We reviewed 79 evaluations that were completed after 34 surgical cases; residents and post-graduate MDs were involved in each case. On the characteristics evaluated, significant differences between ureteroscopes were noted. The Storz reusable digital ureteroscope received the highest ratings overall while the new LithoVue disposable ureteroscope generally scored lowest. Our evaluation tool demonstrated good internal consistency, suggesting reliable results. Ureteroscope maneuverability correlated most to overall satisfaction.


    The clinical evaluation of flexible ureteroscopes for stone removal is critical in equipment purchase decision-making and in planning surgical approaches. We created a comprehensive evaluation tool to standardize and quantify the assessment of ureteroscopes used at our institution. Results revealed significant differences between ureteroscopes for several user and performance characteristics and good reliability of the evaluation tool itself.