Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



PLoS One





Inclusive Pages





PURPOSE: High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a non-invasive therapeutic technique that can thermally ablate tumors. Boiling histotripsy (BH) is a HIFU approach that can emulsify tissue in a few milliseconds. Lesion volume and temperature effects for different BH sonication parameters are currently not well characterized. In this work, lesion volume, temperature distribution, and area of lethal thermal dose were characterized for varying BH sonication parameters in tissue-mimicking phantoms (TMP) and demonstrated in ex vivo tissues.

METHODS: The following BH sonication parameters were varied using a clinical MR-HIFU system (Sonalleve V2, Philips, Vantaa, Finland): acoustic power, number of cycles/pulse, total sonication time, and pulse repetition frequency (PRF). A 3×3×3 pattern was sonicated inside TMP's and ex vivo tissues. Post sonication, lesion volumes were quantified using 3D ultrasonography and temperature and thermal dose distributions were analyzed offline. Ex vivo tissues were sectioned and stained with H&E post sonication to assess tissue damage.

RESULTS: Significant increase in lesion volume was observed while increasing the number of cycles/pulse and PRF. Other sonication parameters had no significant effect on lesion volume. Temperature full width at half maximum at the end of sonication increased significantly with all parameters except total sonication time. Positive correlation was also found between lethal thermal dose and lesion volume for all parameters except number of cycles/pulse. Gross pathology of ex vivo tissues post sonication displayed either completely or partially damaged tissue at the focal region. Surrounding tissues presented sharp boundaries, with little or no structural damage to adjacent critical structures such as bile duct and nerves.

CONCLUSION: Our characterization of effects of HIFU sonication parameters on the resulting lesion demonstrates the ability to control lesion morphologic and thermal characteristics with a clinical MR-HIFU system in TMP's and ex vivo tissues. We demonstrate that this system can produce spatially precise lesions in both phantoms and ex vivo tissues. The results provide guidance on a preliminary set of BH sonication parameters for this system, with a potential to facilitate BH translation to the clinic.


Reproduced with permission of PLoS ONE.

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