Ultrasound-guided therapeutic focused ultrasound: Current status and future directions

Emad S. Ebbini, Gail Ter Haar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


This paper reviews ultrasound imaging methods for the guidance of therapeutic focused ultrasound (USgFUS), with emphasis on real-time preclinical methods. Guidance is interpreted in the broadest sense to include pretreatment planning, siting of the FUS focus, real-time monitoring of FUS-tissue interactions, and real-time control of exposure and damage assessment. The paper begins with an overview and brief historical background of the early methods used for monitoring FUS-tissue interactions. Current imaging methods are described, and discussed in terms of sensitivity and specificity of the localisation of the FUS effects in both therapeutic and sub-therapeutic modes. Thermal and non-thermal effects are considered. These include cavitation-enhanced heating, tissue water boiling and cavitation. Where appropriate, USgFUS methods are compared with similar methods implemented using other guidance modalities, e.g. magnetic resonance imaging. Conclusions are drawn regarding the clinical potential of the various guidance methods, and the feasibility and current status of real-time implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-89
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Hyperthermia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved: reproduction in whole or part not permitted.


  • Boiling histotripsy
  • Cavitation
  • FUS-mediated drug delivery
  • High intensity focused ultrasound
  • Thermal therapy


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