Immediate Dose–Response Effect of High-Energy Versus Low-Energy Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy on Cutaneous Microcirculation

Robert Kraemer*, Heiko Sorg, Vinzent Forstmeier, Karsten Knobloch, Eirini Liodaki, Felix Hagen Stang, Peter Mailaender, Tobias Kisch

*Corresponding author for this work
3 Citations (Scopus)


Elucidation of the precise mechanisms and therapeutic options of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is only at the beginning. Although immediate real-time effects of ESWT on cutaneous hemodynamics have recently been described, the dose response to different ESWT energies in cutaneous microcirculation has never been examined. Thirty-nine Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly assigned to three groups that received either focused high-energy shock waves (group A: total of 1000 impulses, 10 J) to the lower leg of the hind limb, focused low-energy shock waves (group B: total of 300 impulses, 1 J) or placebo shock wave treatment (group C: 0 impulses, 0 J) using a multimodality shock wave delivery system (Duolith SD-1 T-Top, Storz Medical, Tägerwilen, Switzerland). Immediate microcirculatory effects were assessed with the O2C (oxygen to see) system (LEA Medizintechnik, Giessen, Germany) before and for 20 min after application of ESWT. Cutaneous tissue oxygen saturation increased significantly higher after high-energy ESWT than after low-energy and placebo ESWT (A: 29.4% vs. B: 17.3% vs. C: 3.3%; p = 0.003). Capillary blood velocity was significantly higher after high-energy ESWT and lower after low-energy ESWT versus placebo ESWT (group A: 17.8% vs. group B: −22.1% vs. group C: −5.0%, p = 0.045). Post-capillary venous filling pressure was significantly enhanced in the high-energy ESWT group in contrast to the low-energy ESWT and placebo groups (group A: 25% vs. group B: 2% vs. group C: −4%, p = 0.001). Both high-energy and low-energy ESWT affect cutaneous hemodynamics in a standard rat model. High-energy ESWT significantly increases parameters of cutaneous microcirculation immediately after application, resulting in higher tissue oxygen saturation, venous filling pressure and blood velocity, which suggests higher tissue perfusion with enhanced oxygen saturation, in contrast to low-energy as well as placebo ESWT. Low-energy ESWT also increased tissue oxygen saturation, albeit to a lower extent, and decreases both blood velocity and venous filling pressure. Low-energy ESWT reduced tissue perfusion, but improved oxygen saturation immediately after the application.

Original languageEnglish
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)2975-2982
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2016

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-27 Orthopaedics, Trauma Surgery and Reconstructive Surgery


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