Exploring ureteroscope design with computational fluid dynamics for improved intra-pelvic pressure

Carla Miguel, Ashok Sangani, Scott Wiener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High intra-pelvic pressure (IPP) during ureteroscopy can lead to complications including pyelovenous backflow, bleeding, and infection. Our primary goal was to identify the best cross-section and orientation of a ureteroscope within a Ureteral Access Sheath (UAS) to minimize IPP and maximize outflow. Our secondary goal was to validate our findings with a UAS prototype. To determine the optimal ureteroscope cross-section within a UAS, four ureteroscopes of equivalent cross-sectional area were simulated within a 10 Fr UAS using computational fluid dynamics software COMSOL. We then created a corresponding prototype by securing a 3-0 monofilament suture at the inferior aspect of the 12 Fr outer UAS, inducing an offset to the ureteroscope. Mean flow volumes through a 10/12 Fr UAS occupied by a 9.5-Fr single-use flexible ureteroscope were compared (17 iterations) to those through our prototype UAS. During the simulation, the lowest IPP and highest outflow were seen with an offset circular ureteroscope (41% resistance) compared to a ureteroscope centered in the UAS. The unmodified UAS had an average volume of 30.0 mL/min (SD ± 0.35) compared to 33.76 mL/min (SD ± 0.90) for the modified UAS (p < 0.05). We found that using a circular ureteroscope positioned along the sidewall maximizes outflow through a circular UAS. We made a prototype UAS to offset the ureteroscope and observed a 12.5% increase in outflow. This approach can potentially decrease IPP during ureteroscopy without impacting inflow or the working channel. Although modifying a ureteroscope is more difficult, it could create an offset without reducing UAS cross-section.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Intra-pelvic pressure
  • Ureteral access sheath
  • Ureteroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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