Direct in vivo visualization of intravascular destruction of microbubbles by ultrasound and its local effects on tissue

Circulation. 1998 Jul 28;98(4):290-3. doi: 10.1161/01.cir.98.4.290.


Background: Our aim was to observe ultrasound-induced intravascular microbubble destruction in vivo and to characterize any resultant bioeffects.

Methods and results: Intravital microscopy was used to visualize the spinotrapezius muscle in 15 rats during ultrasound delivery. Microbubble destruction during ultrasound exposure caused rupture of < or = 7-microm microvessels (mostly capillaries) and the production of nonviable cells in adjacent tissue. The number of microvessels ruptured and cells damaged correlated linearly (P<0.001) with the amount of ultrasound energy delivered.

Conclusions: Microbubbles can be destroyed by ultrasound, resulting in a bioeffect that could be used for local drug delivery, angiogenesis, and vascular remodeling, or for tumor destruction.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Air*
  • Animals
  • Blood / radiation effects*
  • Capillaries / injuries
  • Cell Death / radiation effects
  • Female
  • Microspheres*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / blood supply
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / radiation effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rupture
  • Ultrasonics*