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Med Phys. 2008 Apr;35(4):1387-97.

Split-focused ultrasound transducer with multidirectional heating for breast tumor thermal surgery.

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  • 1Institute of Biomedical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.


This study investigated the feasibility of using a split-focused ultrasound transducer to perform thermal surgery on breast tumors, based on a multidirectional heating scheme. The transducer is a square section of a sphere with a radius of 10 cm. The transducer was tilted such that its acoustic beam was 45 degrees relative to the rib surface, and its focal zone was arranged by a shift of 6 mm away from the center of the planning target volume. The multifocus switching technique was employed to enhance the heating efficiency. When a single transducer was used, the transducer sonicated from a certain position for a given duration, and then rotated sequentially to continue the heating. Computer simulations and in vitro phantom experiments have been studied for this heating system. Both simulation and experimental results demonstrated that the system based on a multidirectional heating scheme is capable of generating a proper thermal lesion within 8 min. Meanwhile, from the simulation results, the rib heating was effectively alleviated by tilting the transducer to induce the total reflection at the muscle/bone interface. While using multiple ultrasound transducers, an appropriate arrangement was designed to have the same configuration of acoustic beams as is used for a single-transducer strategy. The simulation results from the four-transducer strategy indicated that the heating results could be further improved. This study revealed that it is very promising to have an appropriate arrangement of a single split-focused ultrasound transducer with mechanical rotation, or to have multiple split-focused transducers that use multidirectional heating for breast tumor thermal therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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