Lung hemorrhage (LH) remains the only bioeffect of (non-contrast) diagnostic ultrasound (DUS) proven to occur in mammals (see attached image). While DUS for lung imaging is now routine in intensive care and emergency care, a fundamental understanding of DUS-induced LH remains lacking, thus preventing science-based safety guidance. Lung is a tissue dominated by gas, which is expected to interact strongly with diagnostic ultrasound. Our hypothesis is that DUS-LH occurs due ultrasonic activation of alveolar gas bodies, which likely results in tissue strain and rupture of the blood-air barrier in fragile capillary beds. Our objective is to refine this hypothesis into detailed physical models of DUS-LH. Our research strategy consists of determining the relationship of DUS-LH with ultrasonic inertial cavitation, and developing a numerical model of DUS lung perturbation and for DUS-LH thresholds.
$1,524,322 grant from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services