Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Risk Of Lung Damage From Ultrasound Greater Than Once Thought

Date:
September 4, 2001
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Pumping more energy into a beam of diagnostic ultrasound could produce a better image – and therefore a better diagnosis – but studies at the University of Illinois suggest the risk of ultrasound-induced lung damage is greater than many scientists previously believed.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Pumping more energy into a beam of diagnostic ultrasound could produce a better image – and therefore a better diagnosis – but studies at the University of Illinois suggest the risk of ultrasound-induced lung damage is greater than many scientists previously believed.

While there has been no evidence that clinical use of ultrasound has had any adverse effects in humans, safety concerns were raised recently when scientists discovered that diagnostic treatment levels could produce acute lung hemorrhages in laboratory animals.

“The big question is whether human lungs can be damaged by diagnostic ultrasound, and if so, under what exposure conditions,” said William O’Brien Jr., a UI professor of electrical and computer engineering and the director of the Bioacoustics Research Laboratory at the university’s Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

In experiments performed on mice, rats, rabbits and pigs, O’Brien and colleagues at the UI found similar patches of lung damage, independent of animal size or species. “What’s common in all of these animals is the thickness of the air-blood barrier near the surface of the lung,” said James F. Zachary, a UI professor of veterinary pathology and interim department head of veterinary pathobiology. “This barrier is of similar thickness in humans, also – so people may be just as susceptible to this type of lung damage.” The air-blood barrier – the membrane through which oxygen diffuses in the lung – is very thin, and may be the principal target for ultrasound-induced lung damage.

“The cause of the damage appears to be mechanical in nature,” O’Brien said. “A sound wave has momentum and imparts a force. A beam of sound focused at an air-water interface, for example, can shoot water into the air – like the cold steam produced by ultrasonic humidifiers. We think the sound waves push against the lung tissue hard enough to create small rips, which cause bleeding.”

Acoustic forces, acting on the air-blood barrier, “could initiate a lesion that could grow through alveolar hemorrhage and propagate into deeper lung tissue,” Zachary said. “The lesion would stop growing only when the hemorrhage becomes large enough to effectively dissipate the acoustic energy.” In their work, the researchers found that lung damage appears to be dependent upon ultrasound beamwidth, pulse duration and exposure duration. In an age-dependent study performed on pigs, the researchers also found that older animals were most sensitive to lung damage.

“One possible explanation is that the lung membrane becomes less pliable with age, and rips more easily when exposed to sound waves,” O’Brien said. The researchers will present their latest findings at the 17th International Congress on Acoustics, to be held in Rome Sept. 2-7.

The National Institutes of Health funded their work.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Risk Of Lung Damage From Ultrasound Greater Than Once Thought." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010904072302.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (2001, September 4). Risk Of Lung Damage From Ultrasound Greater Than Once Thought. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010904072302.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Risk Of Lung Damage From Ultrasound Greater Than Once Thought." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010904072302.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins