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Ultrasound Med Biol. 1995;21(8):1067-72.

Intestinal hemorrhage from exposure to pulsed ultrasound.

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  • 1Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Rochester, NY 14627, USA.


Threshold exposures for producing intestinal hemorrhage in mice were determined using focused sources operating at 0.7, 1.1, 2.4 and 3.6 MHz. The choice of pulse length (10 microseconds) and pulse repetition frequency (100 Hz) made the exposures diagnostically relevant, while at the same time, minimized possible thermal contributions to the mechanism of action of the ultrasound. Each animal was irradiated at four to five abdominal sites for 5 min per site. Suprathreshold lesions ranged from small petechiae to hemorrhagic regions extending 4 mm or more along the intestine, depending upon the exposure levels. Higher frequencies were less effective in producing intestinal hemorrhage than lower frequencies. Thermocouple measurements of temperature rise in the intestine during ultrasound exposure revealed temperature increments between 1 degrees and 2 degrees C at the highest exposure levels. The frequency dependence of the production of intestinal hemorrhage together with the observed limited heating is consistent with a cavitation-related mechanism of action of pulsed ultrasound.

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