Low energy shockwave therapy (LEST): A novel treatment for chronic kidney disease

Patients with diabetes are at risk of developing several complications in relation to their disease, including diabetic kidney disorder, which is seen among as many as 40 % of all patients with diabetes. A gradually decreasing kidney function is seen in relation to diabetic kidney disorder, and diabetes is the most frequent cause of decreasing kidney function with a need for dialysis or kidney transplantation. Diabetes comprises an increasing part of the population (230,000 Danes in 2012), and there is a noticeable need for the development of new methods for treating diabetic kidney disorder.

Shockwaves are a new and gentle form of treatment, which has proved to restore the function of different organs and tissue. In a test with pigs, it has been proven that shockwaves may improve kidney function after oxygen deficiency in kidneys. Previously, we have conducted treatment with shockwaves for mice with diabetes, which lead to the development of new blood vessels within the kidney. The same positive effects of shockwaves has been proven in relation to other chronic diseases – including ischaemic heart disorder, diabetic foot ulcers and impotence for men.


The aim of the PhD project is to examine whether treatment with shockwaves can be used as a new form of treatment in diabetic kidney disorder. It marks the first time that shockwave therapy is tested for humans for treatment of chronic kidney disorder. In the long term, the perspective is to prevent or delay decreasing kidney function and the need for dialysis in patients with diabetes.

We will treat 30 patients with moderately reduced kidney function as a consequence of diabetes. The treatments are carried out twice a week for three weeks (six treatments in total). Both kidneys are treated with shockwaves, and each treatment takes aprox. 40 minutes. The treatment takes place while the patient is lying in a bed, and under the bed is a therapy head that forms the shockwaves. Through ultrasound scannning we ensure that the shockwaves are a focus around the kidney.

Knud Bonnet Yderstræde


Start: 1 January 2015
End: 31 January 2020

The project is a PhD project by Sune Møller Skov-Jeppesen, the Department of Urology, OUH.

Write to Sune


Knud Bonnet Yderstræde

Knud Bonnet Yderstræde

Senior Researcher, Chief Physician, Associate Professor | (+45) 6541 3427 | [email protected]