In vivo sonothrombolysis of ear marginal vein of rabbits monitored with high-frequency ultrasound needle transducer

Ruimin Chen, Dong Guk Paeng, Kwok Ho Lam, Qifa Zhou, K. Kirk Shung, Naoki Matsuoka, Mark S. Humayun

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Ultrasound (US) is known to enhance thrombolysis when thrombolytic agents and/or microbubbles are injected into the targeted vessels. In this research, high-intensity US (1 MHz, 7 W/cm2, 30 % duty cycle) was applied in vivo to the ear marginal vein of three rabbits which was occluded by either laser photothrombosis or thrombin, right after the injection of 0.3~0.6 cc of microbubbles (13 × 108 bubbles/ml of concentration) through the other ear vein without using any thrombolytic agent. To determine the effect of the sonothrombolysis, the blood flow velocity near the occlusion site in the vein was measured by a custom-made 40-MHz US needle transducer and its corresponding Doppler US system. The Doppler spectra show that the blood flow velocity recovered from total occlusion after three 10-minute high-intensity US treatments. Fluorescein angiography was employed to confirm the opening of the vessel occlusion. A control study of three rabbits with only the microbubble injection showed no recovery on the occlusion in 3 hours. The results show that the sonothrombolysis in the rabbit ear marginal vein can be achieved with microbubbles only. The results of cavitation measurements indicate that the mechanism of sonothrombolysis is probably due to the cavitation induced by the microbubbles. Without the need of applying any thrombolytic agent, high-intensity US has high potential for therapies targeting on small blood vessels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-110
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical and Biological Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Microbubbles
  • Rabbit ear marginal vein
  • Sonothrombolysis
  • Therapeutic ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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