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J Acoust Soc Am. 2009 Apr;125(4):2420-31. doi: 10.1121/1.3081393.

Magnetic resonance imaging of boiling induced by high intensity focused ultrasound.

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Center for Industrial and Medical Ultrasound, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98105, USA.


Both mechanically induced acoustic cavitation and thermally induced boiling can occur during high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) medical therapy. The goal was to monitor the temperature as boiling was approached using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Tissue phantoms were heated for 20 s in a 4.7-T magnet using a 2-MHz HIFU source with an aperture and radius of curvature of 44 mm. The peak focal pressure was 27.5 MPa with corresponding beam width of 0.5 mm. The temperature measured in a single MRI voxel by water proton resonance frequency shift attained a maximum value of only 73 degrees C after 7 s of continuous HIFU exposure when boiling started. Boiling was detected by visual observation, by appearance on the MR images, and by a marked change in the HIFU source power. Nonlinear modeling of the acoustic field combined with a heat transfer equation predicted 100 degrees C after 7 s of exposure. Averaging of the calculated temperature field over the volume of the MRI voxel (0.3 x 0.5 x 2 mm(3)) yielded a maximum of 73 degrees C that agreed with the MR thermometry measurement. These results have implications for the use of MRI-determined temperature values to guide treatments with clinical HIFU systems.

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