High-intensity focused ultrasound (US), or HIFU, treatment of soft tissues has been shown to result in a hyperechoic region in B-mode US images. We report on detecting cavitation in vivo in correlation with the appearance of a hyperechoic region. The US system consisted of a HIFU transducer (3.3 MHz), a broadband A-mode transducer for active and passive cavitation detection and an US-imaging probe that were all confocal and synchronized. HIFU, at in situ intensities of 220 to 1710 W/cm2, was applied for 10 s to pig muscles in vivo. Active and passive cavitation detection results showed a strong correlation between the onset of cavitation and the appearance of a hyperechoic region. Passive cavitation detection results showed that inertial cavitation typically occurred prior (within 0.5 s) to the appearance of a hyperechoic region. The observed cavitation activity confirms that bubbles are present during the formation of a hyperechoic region at the HIFU focus. © 2005 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology.
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