Background High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a noninvasive thermal ablation technique. High-intensity focused ultrasound has been used in small-animal models to lesion neural tissue selectively. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of HIFU in a large-animal model for ablation of nerves similar in size to human nerves.
Methods Twelve acute magnetic resonance–guided HIFU ablation lesions were created in intercostal nerves in a swine model. In a second pig, as a control, 4 radiofrequency ablation and 4 alcohol lesions were performed on intercostal nerves under ultrasound guidance. Preprocedural and postprocedural magnetic resonance imaging was then performed to evaluate radiologically the lesion size created by HIFU. Animals were euthanized 1 hour postprocedure, and necropsy was performed to collect tissue samples for histopathologic analysis.
Results On gross and histological examination of the intercostal nerve, acute HIFU nerve lesions showed evidence of well-demarcated, acute, focally extensive thermal necrosis. Four intercostal nerves ablated with HIFU were sent for histopathologic analysis, with 2 of 4 lesions showing pathologic damage to the intercostal nerve. Similar results were shown with radiofrequency ablation technique, whereas the intercostal nerves appeared histologically intact with alcohol ablation.
Conclusions High-intensity focused ultrasound may be used as a noninvasive neurolytic technique in swine. High-intensity focused ultrasound may have potential as a neuroablation technique for patients with chronic and cancer pain.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
This study was funded by the Departments of Radiology and Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.