Correlation Between Brain Tissue Damage and Inertial Cavitation Dose Quantified Using Passive Cavitation Imaging

Shanshan Xu, Dezhuang Ye, Leighton Wan, Yujia Shentu, Yimei Yue, Mingxi Wan, Hong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Focused ultrasound (FUS)-induced cavitation-mediated brain therapies have become emerging therapeutic modalities for neurologic diseases. Cavitation monitoring is essential to ensure the safety of all cavitation-mediated therapeutic techniques as inertial cavitation can be associated with tissue damage. The objective of this study was to reveal the correlation between the inertial cavitation dose, quantified by passive cavitation imaging (PCI), and brain tissue histologic-level damage induced by FUS in combination with microbubbles. An ultrasound image-guided FUS system consisting of a single-element FUS transducer (1.5 MHz) and a co-axially aligned 128-element linear ultrasound imaging array was used to perform FUS treatment of mice. Mice were sonicated by FUS with different peak negative pressures (0.5 MPa, 1.1 MPa, 4.0 MPa and 6.5 MPa) in the presence of systemically injected microbubbles. The acoustic emissions from the FUS-activated microbubbles were passively detected by the imaging array. The pre-beamformed channel data were acquired and processed offline using the frequency-domain delay, sum and integration algorithm to generate inertial cavitation maps. All the mice were sacrificed after the FUS treatment, and their brains were harvested and processed for hematoxylin and eosin staining. The obtained inertial cavitation maps revealed the dynamic changes of microbubble behaviors during FUS treatment at different pressure levels. It was found that the inertial cavitation dose quantified based on PCI had a linear correlation with the scale of histologic-level tissue damage. Findings from this study suggested that PCI can be used to predict histologic-level tissue damage associated with the FUS-induced cavitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2758-2766
Number of pages9
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Brain therapies
  • Cavitation
  • Focused ultrasound
  • Passive cavitation imaging
  • Tissue damage


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