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J Acoust Soc Am. 2008 Oct;124(4):2340-52. doi: 10.1121/1.2973186.

Estimation of the acoustic impedance of lung versus level of inflation for different species and ages of animals.

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  • 1Bioacoustics Research Laboratory, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois, 405 North Mathews, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.


In a previous study, it was hypothesized that ultrasound-induced lung damage was related to the transfer of ultrasonic energy into the lungs (W. D. O'Brien et al. 2002, "Ultrasound-induced lung hemorrhage: Role of acoustic boundary conditions at the pleural surface," J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 111, 1102-1109). From this study a technique was developed to: 1) estimate the impedance (Mrayl) of fresh, excised, ex vivo rat lung versus its level of inflation (cm H(2)O) and 2) predict the fraction of ultrasonic energy transmitted into the lung (M. Oelze et al. 2003, "Impedance measurements of ex vivo rat lung at different volumes of inflation." J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 114, 3384-3393). In the current study, the same technique was used to estimate the frequency-dependent impedance of lungs from rats, rabbits, and pigs of various ages. Impedance values were estimated from lungs under deflation (atmospheric pressure, 0 cm H(2)O) and three volumes of inflation pressure [7 cm H(2)O (5 cm H(2)O for pigs), 10 cm H(2)O, and 15 cm H(2)O]. Lungs were scanned in a tank of degassed 37 degrees C water. The frequency-dependent acoustic pressure reflection coefficient was determined over a frequency range of 3.5-10 MHz. From the reflection coefficient, the frequency-dependent lung impedance was calculated with values ranging from an average of 1.4 Mrayl in deflated lungs (atmospheric pressure) to 0.1 Mrayl for fully inflated lungs (15 cm H(2)O). Across all species, deflated lung (i.e., approximately 7% of the total lung capacity) had impedance values closer to tissue values, suggesting that more acoustic energy was transmitted into the lung under deflated conditions. Finally, the impedance values of deflated lungs from different species at different ages were compared with the thresholds for ultrasound-induced lung damage. The comparison revealed that increases in ultrasonic energy transmission corresponded to lower injury threshold values.

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