Effects of contrast agent infusion rates on thresholds for tissue damage produced by single exposures of high-intensity ultrasound

Binh C. Tran, Timothy L. Hall, Jongbum Seo, J. Brian Fowlkes, Charles A. Cain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Stabilized microbubble ultrasound contrast agents (UCA) have potential to aid tissue ablation during ultrasound surgery by enhancing both cavitational and thermal damage mechanisms. Previously, we showed UCA infused at a rate of 1 μL/kg/min prior to ultrasound exposure could reduce the total energy required to produce tissue damage by up to two orders of magnitude. In this paper, we evaluate thresholds for macroscopic tissue damage with UCA infusion rates (IR) of 0.1, 0.3, 1, 3, and 10 μL/kg/min to determine IR potentially effective for ultrasound therapy. Canine kidneys were surgically externalized and insonified with single exposures of focused ultrasound. Incident exposures were 1.44 MHz tone bursts, either 250 ms in duration with intensity between 500 W/cm 2 and 3200 W/cm 2, or 100 μs to 1 s in duration with intensity equal to 3200 W/cm 2. Probabilities of tissue damage occurrence were determined for each set of exposure conditions (intensity, duration, and IR). A threshold intensity and threshold duration, defined as the quantities for which tissue damage occurred with probability equal to 0.5, were estimated for each IR. Results show that, as IR increased from 0.1 to 10 μL/kg/min, the threshold intensity decreased by up to a factor of 3, and threshold duration decreased by up to a factor of 200. Microbubble introduction at IR up to 10 μL/kg/min thus may be effective in aiding ultrasound therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1121-1129
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received May 28, 2004; accepted December 29, 2004. This research has been funded by grants from the Johnson & Johnson Focused Giving Program and the National Institutes of Health RR14450.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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