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Improving Kidney Health with Shockwave Therapy

Improving Kidney Health with Shockwave Therapy


 

Title of Study: Low–Energy Shockwave Therapy Improves Ischemic Kidney Microcirculation

Authors: Xin Zhang, James D. Krier, Carolina Amador Carrascal, James F. Greenleaf, Behzad Ebrahimi, Ahmad F. Hedayat, Stephen C. Textor, Amir Lerman, and Lilach O. Lermancorresponding author

Shockwave therapy, a method known for stimulating the growth of new blood vessels, has shown promising results in improving kidney function in pigs. This study focused on the therapy’s effects on kidneys suffering from reduced blood flow due to narrowed arteries, a condition that can lead to kidney dysfunction and poor health outcomes.

The research involved two groups of pigs: one group with normal health and another subjected to restricted kidney artery blood flow for three weeks. The treatment group received low-energy shockwave therapy twice a week for three weeks, while a control group did not receive any treatment. The researchers then analyzed various indicators of kidney health, including blood pressure, protein levels in urine, blood flow in the affected kidney, the rate at which the kidneys filter blood (GFR), the structure and oxygenation of the kidney’s microvessels, and the presence of fibrosis, a type of tissue scarring. They also examined the levels of certain proteins involved in the formation of new blood vessels and in the response of cells to physical forces.

The findings revealed that shockwave therapy not only improved blood flow and oxygenation in the affected kidneys but also reduced high blood pressure, improved the GFR, and decreased fibrosis in the test subjects with restricted kidney artery blood flow. These benefits were linked to an increase in proteins that promote the formation of new blood vessels and respond to physical forces, especially in the cells lining the kidney tubules. Importantly, the therapy did not harm the kidneys in healthy test subjects.

In conclusion, low-energy shockwave therapy shows promise as a non-invasive treatment for improving kidney function and managing high blood pressure caused by narrowed kidney arteries. It works by enhancing the formation of new blood vessels and improving tissue oxygenation, potentially offering a new approach to treat kidney diseases related to poor blood flow.

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