Neuropathic Tissue Responds Preferentially to Stimulation by Intense Focused Ultrasound

Rowen E. Tych, Michael Gofeld, Jeffrey G. Jarvik, Michel Kliot, John D. Loeser, Abbi M. McClintic, Ryan J. Ollos, Kristin D. Pederson, Rachel E. Sparks, Gregory W. Terman, Pierre D. Mourad*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We tested the hypothesis that neuropathic tissue is more sensitive to stimulation by intense focused ultrasound (iFU) than control tissue. We created a diffusely neuropathic paw in rats via partial ligation of the sciatic nerve, whose sensitivity to iFU stimulation we compared with sham-surgery and normal control paws. We then applied increasing amounts of iFU (individual 0.2 s pulses at 1.15 MHz) to the rats' paws, assaying for their reliable withdrawal from that stimulation. Neuropathic rats preferentially withdrew their injured paw from iFU at smaller values of iFU intensity (84.2 W/cm2 ± 25.5) than did sham surgery (97.7 W/cm2 ± 11.9) and normal control (> 223 W/cm2) animals, with greater sensitivity and specificity (85% for neuropathic rats and 50% each of sham surgery and normal control rats). These results directly support our hypothesis as well as Gavrilov's idea that doctors may some day use iFU stimulation to diagnose patients with neuropathies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Intense focused ultrasound
  • Neuropathy
  • Pain
  • Pain diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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