Background: Focused ultrasound (FUS) combined with microbubbles is a promising technique for noninvasive, reversible, and spatially targeted blood-brain barrier opening, with clinical trials currently ongoing. Despite the fast development of this technology, there is a lack of established quality assurance (QA) strategies to ensure procedure consistency and safety. To address this challenge, this study presents the development and clinical evaluation of a passive acoustic detection-based QA protocol for FUS-induced blood-brain barrier opening (FUS-BBBO) procedure. Methods: Ten glioma patients were recruited to a clinical trial for evaluating a neuronavigation-guided FUS device. An acoustic sensor was incorporated at the center of the FUS device to passively capture acoustic signals for accomplishing three QA functions: FUS device QA to ensure the device functions consistently, acoustic coupling QA to detect air bubbles trapped in the acoustic coupling gel and water bladder of the transducer, and FUS procedure QA to evaluate the consistency of the treatment procedure. Findings: The FUS device passed the device QA in 9/10 patient studies. 4/9 cases failed acoustic coupling QA on the first try. The acoustic coupling procedure was repeatedly performed until it passed QA in 3/4 cases. One case failed acoustic coupling QA due to time constraints. Realtime passive cavitation monitoring was performed for FUS procedure QA, which captured variations in FUS-induced microbubble cavitation dynamics among patients. Interpretation: This study demonstrated that the proposed passive acoustic detection could be integrated with a clinical FUS system for the QA of the FUS-BBBO procedure. Funding: National Institutes of Health R01CA276174, R01MH116981, UG3MH126861, R01EB027223, R01EB030102, and R01NS128461.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105066
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • Acoustic coupling
  • Blood-brain barrier opening
  • Clinical FUS device
  • Focused ultrasound
  • Passive acoustic detection
  • Quality assurance


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