Apoptosis in ultrasound-produced threshold lesions in the rabbit brain

Ultrasound Med Biol. 2001 Jan;27(1):111-7. doi: 10.1016/s0301-5629(00)00275-1.


Focused ultrasound (US) surgery has been used to induce high temperature elevations in tissue to coagulate the proteins and kill the tissue. The introduction of noninvasive online temperature monitoring has made it possible to induce well-controlled thermal exposures. In this study, we used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) thermometry to monitor thermal exposures near the threshold of tissue damage, and then investigated if apoptosis was induced. Rabbit brains were sonicated with an eight-sector phased array to create a large region of uniform temperature elevation at the end of a 30-s sonication. Histological examination demonstrated that apoptosis was induced in some cells. At 4 h after the sonications, the apoptotic cells constituted 9 +/- 7% of identifiable cells. By 48 h after the sonications, the number of apoptotic cells had increased up to 17 +/- 9%. The impact of this finding for therapy needs to be explored further.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Body Temperature
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis
  • Brain Diseases / etiology
  • DNA Damage
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Necrosis
  • Rabbits
  • Ultrasonic Therapy / adverse effects*