Imaging monitored loosening of dense fibrous tissues using high-intensity pulsed ultrasound.

Author: Yeh CL, Li PC, Shih WP, Huang PS, Kuo PL.
Graduate Institute of Biomedical Electronics and Bioinformatics, Department of Electrical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.
Conference/Journal: Phys Med Biol.
Date published: 2013 Sep 10
Other: Volume ID: 58 , Issue ID: 19 , Pages: 6779-6796 , Word Count: 229

Pulsed high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is proposed as a new alternative treatment for contracture of dense fibrous tissue. It is hypothesized that the pulsed-HIFU can release the contracted tissues by attenuating tensile stiffness along the fiber axis, and that the stiffness reduction can be quantitatively monitored by change of B-mode images. Fresh porcine tendons and ligaments were adapted to an ex vivo model and insonated with pulsed-HIFU for durations ranging from 5 to 30 min. The pulse length was 91 µs with a repetition frequency of 500 Hz, and the peak rarefactional pressure was 6.36 MPa. The corresponding average intensities were kept around 1606 W cm-2 for ISPPA and 72.3 W cm-2 for ISPTA. B-mode images of the tissues were acquired before and after pulsed-HIFU exposure, and the changes in speckle intensity and organization were analyzed. The tensile stiffness of the HIFU-exposed tissues along the longitudinal axis was examined using a stretching machine. Histology examinations were performed by optical and transmission electron microscopy. Pulsed-HIFU exposure significantly decreased the tensile stiffness of the ligaments and tendons. The intensity and organization of tissue speckles in the exposed region were also decreased. The speckle changes correlated well with the degree of stiffness alteration. Histology examinations revealed that pulsed-HIFU exposure probably damages tissues via a cavitation-mediated mechanism. Our results suggest that pulsed-HIFU with a low duty factor is a promising tool for developing new treatment strategies for orthopedic disorders.
PMID: 24018912