- Conference date: 27-29 October 2005
- Location: Boston, Massachusetts (USA)
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using a High‐intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) device to obtain a localised destruction of the thyroid with no damage to adjacent tissues. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The ewe model was used because its thyroid gland is easily accessible with ultrasound. The animals were anaesthetised with 10 mg / kg IV injection of Penthothal. The HIFU pulses were generated by a 3‐MHz spherical transducer under ultrasound guidance. Macroscopic and microscopic tissue lesions were identified after formalin fixation of the anterior part of the ewe’s neck. RESULTS: After determining the optimal instrument settings to obtain localized thyroid ablation, the repeatability of the method was evaluated using a HIFU prototype designed specifically for human use: in 13 ewes (26 treated lobes), an average of 20 (range: 14–27) ultrasound pulses (pulse duration: 3 s) per lobe covering a mean volume of 0.5 cm3 (range: 0.3–0.7 cm3) were delivered. The ewes were sacrificed 2–5 weeks after treatment delivery. No damage to the nerves, trachea, esophagus or muscle was observed. Only 3 ewes suffered superficial skin burns. The desired thyroid lesions were obtained in 25/26 treated lobes, as demonstrated by fibrotic tissues, which replaced necrotic areas. CONCLUSION: These results obtained in the ewe model show that thyroid lesions of defined volume can be induced safely and suggest that the HIFU device is now ready for human trials.
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