Photo Source: Cleveland Clinic
Researchers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Massachusetts General Hospital have now devised a potential treatment that could make passing kidney stones faster and less painful. They have identified a combination of two drugs that relax the walls of the ureter — the tube that connects the kidneys to the bladder — and can be delivered directly to the ureter with a catheter-like instrument.
This research stems from the fact that every year, more than half a million Americans visit the emergency room for kidney stone problems. In most cases, the stones eventually pass out of the body on their own, but the process can be excruciatingly painful.
Relaxing the ureter could help stones move through the tube more easily, the researchers say.
“We think this could significantly impact kidney stone disease, which affects millions of people,” says Michael Cima, the David H. Koch Professor of Engineering in MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and the senior author of the study.
This kind of treatment could also make it easier and less painful to insert stents into the ureter, which is sometimes done after a kidney stone is passed, to prevent the tube from becoming blocked or collapsing.
Read more: MIT (Source)