Illumination matters part IV: blackout and whiteout in flexible ureteroscopy - first report on a phenomenon observed by PEARLS.

To date, no study has evaluated effects of varying brightness settings on image quality from flexible ureteroscopes submerged in saline. The aim was to evaluate blackout and whiteout occurrences in an in-vitro kidney calyx model.

We evaluated a series of contemporary flexible ureteroscopes including the Storz Flex-Xc and Flex-X2s, Olympus V3 and P7, Pusen 7.5F and 9.2F, as well as OTU WiScope using a 3D-printed enclosed pink in-vitro kidney calyx model submerged in saline. Endoscopic images were captured with ureteroscope tip placed at 5 mm,10 mm and 20 mm distances. The complete range of brightness settings and video capture modes were evaluated for each scope. Distribution of brightness on a grayscale histogram of images was analyzed (scale range 0 to 255). Blackout and whiteout were defined as median histogram ranges from 0 to 35 and 220 to 255, respectively (monitor image too dark or too bright for the human eye, respectively).

Blackout occurred with the P7, Pusen 7.5F, 9.2F and WiScope at all distances, and V3 at 20 mm - with lowest brightness settings. Whiteout occurred with Flex-X2s, V3 and P7 at 5 mm and 10 mm, as well as with V3 and P7 at 20 mm - mostly with highest brightness settings. The Flex-Xc had neither blackout nor whiteout at all settings and distances.

Blackout or whiteout of images is an undesirable property that was found for several scopes, possibly impacting diagnostic and therapeutic purposes during ureteroscopy. These observations form a guide to impact a urologist's choice of instruments and settings.

World journal of urology. 2024 May 05*** epublish ***

Jia-Lun Kwok, Vincent De Coninck, Frédéric Panthier, Hatem Kamkoum, Felipe Pauchard, Anil Shrestha, Vineet Gauhar, Jan Brachlow, Florian Alexander Schmid, Cédric Poyet, Daniel Eberli, Olivier Traxer, Etienne Xavier Keller

Department of Urology, University Hospital Zurich, Frauenklinikstrasse 10, CH-8091, Zurich, Switzerland., Progressive Endourological Association for Research and Leading Solutions (PEARLS), Paris, France., Department of Urology, University Hospital Zurich, Frauenklinikstrasse 10, CH-8091, Zurich, Switzerland. .