Deep Bleeder Acoustic Coagulation (DBAC)-part II: in vivo testing of a research prototype system. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Deep Bleeder Acoustic Coagulation (DBAC) is an ultrasound image-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) method proposed to automatically detect and localize (D&L) and treat deep, bleeding, combat wounds in the limbs of soldiers. A prototype DBAC system consisting of an applicator and control unit was developed for testing on animals. To enhance control, and thus safety, of the ultimate human DBAC autonomous product system, a thermal coagulation strategy that minimized cavitation, boiling, and non-linear behaviors was used. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The in vivo DBAC applicator design had four therapy tiles (Tx) and two 3D (volume) imaging probes (Ix) and was configured to be compatible with a porcine limb bleeder model developed in this research. The DBAC applicator was evaluated under quantitative test conditions (e.g., bleeder depths, flow rates, treatment time limits, and dose exposure time limits) in an in vivo study (final exam) comprising 12 bleeder treatments in three swine. To quantify blood flow rates, the "bleeder" targets were intact arterial branches, i.e., the superficial femoral artery (SFA) and a deep femoral artery (DFA). D&L identified, characterized, and targeted bleeders. The therapy sequence selected Tx arrays and determined the acoustic power and Tx beam steering, focus, and scan patterns. The user interface commands consisted of two buttons: "Start D&L" and "Start Therapy." Targeting accuracy was assessed by necropsy and histologic exams and efficacy (vessel coagulative occlusion) by angiography and histology. RESULTS: The D&L process (Part I article, J Ther Ultrasound, 2015 (this issue)) executed fully in all cases in under 5min and targeting evaluation showed 11 of 12 thermal lesions centered on the correct vessel subsection, with minimal damage to adjacent structures. The automated therapy sequence also executed properly, with select manual steps. Because the dose exposure time limit (t dose30s) was associated with nonefficacious treatment, 60-s dosing and dual-dosing was also pursued. Thrombogenic evidence (blood clotting) and collagen denaturation (vessel shrinkage) were found in necropsy and histologically in all targeted SFAs. Acute SFA reductions in blood flow (20-30%) were achieved in one subject, and one partial and one complete vessel occlusion were confirmed angiographically. The complete occlusion case was achieved with a dual dose (90s total exposure) with focal intensity 500W/cm(2) (spatial average, temporal average). CONCLUSIONS: While not meeting all in vivo objectives, the overall performance of the DBAC applicator was positive. In particular, D&L automation workflow was verified during each of the tests, with processing times well under specified (10min) limits, and all bleeder branches were detected and localized. Further, gross necropsy and tissue examination confirmed that the HIFU thermal lesions were coincident with the target vessel locations in over 90% of the multi-array dosing treatments. The SFA/DFA bleeder models selected, and the protocols used, were the most suitable practical model options for the given DBAC anatomical and bleeder requirements. The animal models were imperfect in some challenging aspects, including requiring tissue-mimicking material (TMM) standoffs to achieve deep target depths, thereby introducing device-tissue motion, with resultant imaging artifacts. The model "bleeders" involved intact vessels, which are subject to less efficient heating and coagulation cascade behaviors than true puncture injuries.

published proceedings

  • J Ther Ultrasound

author list (cited authors)

  • Sekins, K. M., Barnes, S. R., Fan, L., Hopple, J. D., Hsu, S. J., Kook, J., ... Crum, L. A.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Sekins, K Michael||Barnes, Stephen R||Fan, Liexiang||Hopple, Jerry D||Hsu, Stephen J||Kook, John||Lee, Chi-Yin||Maleke, Caroline||Zeng, Xiaozheng Jenny||Moreau-Gobard, Romain||Ahiekpor-Dravi, Alexis||Funka-Lea, Gareth||Eaton, John||Wong, Keith||Keneman, Scott||Mitchell, Stuart B||Dunmire, Barbrina||Kucewicz, John C||Clubb, Fred J||Miller, Matthew W||Crum, Lawrence A

publication date

  • December 2015