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Phys Med Biol. 2006 Feb 21;51(4):793-807. Epub 2006 Jan 25.

Targeted disruption of the blood-brain barrier with focused ultrasound: association with cavitation activity.

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Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Acoustic emission was monitored during focused ultrasound exposures in conjunction with an ultrasound contrast agent (Optison) in order to determine if cavitation activity is associated with the induction of blood-brain barrier disruption (BBBD). Thirty-four locations were sonicated (frequency: 260 kHz) at targets 10 mm deep in rabbit brain (N = 9). The sonications were applied at peak pressure amplitudes ranging from 0.11 to 0.57 MPa (burst length: 10 ms; repetition frequency of 1 Hz; duration: 20 s). Acoustic emission was recorded with a focused passive cavitation detector. This emission was recorded at each location during sonications with and without Optison. Detectable wideband acoustic emission was observed only at 0.40 and 0.57 MPa. BBBD was observed in contrast MRI after sonication at 0.29-0.57 MPa. The appearance of small regions of extravasated erythrocytes appeared to be associated with this wideband emission signal. The results thus suggest that BBBD resulting from focused ultrasound pulses in the presence of Optison can occur without indicators for inertial cavitation in vivo, wideband emission and extravasation. If inertial cavitation is not responsible for the BBBD, other ultrasound/microbubble interactions are likely the source. A significant increase in the emission signal due to Optison at the second and third harmonics of the ultrasound driving frequency was found to correlate with BBBD and might be useful as an online method to indicate when the disruption occurs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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