Noninvasive arterial occlusion using MRI-guided focused ultrasound

Ultrasound Med Biol. 1996;22(8):1071-7. doi: 10.1016/s0301-5629(96)00143-3.


The purpose of this work was to test the hypothesis that reproducible and sustainable arterial occlusion can be induced by focused ultrasound energy deposition noninvasively within deep tissue. An MRI-compatible focused ultrasound transducer was used to sonicate a branch of the renal artery (diameter about 0.6 mm) in vivo (nine rabbits). An intravenous MRI contrast agent bolus was injected about 30 min and up to 7 days after the sonication. After follow-up, in vitro magnification x-ray angiograms were obtained and the kidneys were fixed in formaldehyde for histologic study. The ultrasound pulses resulted in complete cessation of blood flow, as shown by the gradient echo images. In seven of the nine rabbits, a wedge-shaped unenhanced area was seen at the part of the kidney that was perfused by the vessel after the contrast agent injection. This area extended laterally (outside of the sonicated volume) to the cortical surface of the kidney. The x-ray angiograms showed that the artery was completely occluded. Postmortem histologic evaluation showed an infarcted tissue volume corresponding to the wedge shape seen in the images. This study showed that appropriately focused ultrasound can be used to close arteries noninvasively. This finding has significant clinical potential.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Angiography
  • Animals
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Rabbits
  • Renal Artery Obstruction / diagnostic imaging
  • Renal Artery Obstruction / etiology*
  • Renal Artery Obstruction / pathology
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / adverse effects*
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods