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Chin. Phys. B, 2017, Vol. 26(5): 054301    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/26/5/054301

Impact of cavitation on lesion formation induced by high intensity focused ultrasound

Pengfei Fan(范鹏飞)1, Jie Yu(于洁)1, Xin Yang(杨鑫)1, Juan Tu(屠娟)1, Xiasheng Guo(郭霞生)1, Pintong Huang(黄品同)2, Dong Zhang(章东)1,3
1 Key Laboratory of Modern Acoustics (Nanjing University), Ministry of Education, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China;
2 Department of Ultrasound, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou 310009, China;
3 The State Key Laboratory of Acoustics, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100080, China

High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) has shown a great promise in noninvasive cancer therapy. The impact of acoustic cavitation on the lesion formation induced by HIFU is investigated both experimentally and theoretically in transparent protein-containing gel and ex vivo liver tissue samples. A numerical model that accounts for nonlinear acoustic propagation and heat transfer is used to simulate the lesion formation induced by the thermal effect. The results showed that lesions could be induced in the samples exposed to HIFU with various acoustic pressures and pulse lengths. The measured areas of lesions formed in the lateral direction were comparable to the simulated results, while much larger discrepancy was observed between the experimental and simulated data for the areas of longitudinal lesion cross-section. Meanwhile, a series of stripe-wiped-off B-mode pictures were obtained by using a special imaging processing method so that HIFU-induced cavitation bubble activities could be monitored in real-time and quantitatively analyzed as the functions of acoustic pressure and pulse length. The results indicated that, unlike the lateral area of HIFU-induced lesion that was less affected by the cavitation activity, the longitudinal cross-section of HIFU-induced lesion was significantly influenced by the generation of cavitation bubbles through the temperature elevation resulting from HIFU exposures. Therefore, considering the clinical safety in HIFU treatments, more attention should be paid on the lesion formation in the longitudinal direction to avoid uncontrollable variation resulting from HIFU-induced cavitation activity.

Keywords:  high intensity focused ultrasound      tissue lesion      acoustic cavitation  
Received:  26 December 2016      Revised:  18 February 2017      Published:  05 May 2017
PACS:  43.25.Yw (Nonlinear acoustics of bubbly liquids)  
  43.35.Wa (Biological effects of ultrasound, ultrasonic tomography)  
  43.80.+p (Bioacoustics)  

Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11374155, 11674173, 11474001, 11474161, 81627802, and 81527803), and Qing Lan Project, China.

Corresponding Authors:  Juan Tu, Dong Zhang     E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

Pengfei Fan(范鹏飞), Jie Yu(于洁), Xin Yang(杨鑫), Juan Tu(屠娟), Xiasheng Guo(郭霞生), Pintong Huang(黄品同), Dong Zhang(章东) Impact of cavitation on lesion formation induced by high intensity focused ultrasound 2017 Chin. Phys. B 26 054301

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