Investigation of the Effects of Cardiovascular Therapeutic Ultrasound Applied in Female and Male Rats' Hearts of Different Ages

Olivia C. Coiado, Rahul S. Yerrabelli, Anton P. Christensen, Marcin Wozniak, William D. Obrien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates the role of age and sex on the cardiovascular effects of 3.5-MHz pulsed ultrasound (US) in a rat model. Ultrasonic bursts of 2.0-MPa peak rarefactional pressure amplitude (equivalent to an in vitro spatial-peak temporal-peak intensity of 270 W/cm2 and a mechanical index of 1.1) were delivered in five consecutive 10-s intervals, one interval for each pulse repetition frequency (PRF) (6, 5, 4, 5, and 6 Hz; always the same order) for a total exposure duration of 50 consecutive seconds. Sixty F344 rats were split into 12 groups in a 3\times 2\times2 factorial design (three ages, male versus female, and US application versus control). This study is the first study on US-induced cardiac effects that contains data across three age groups of rats (premenopause, fertile, and postmenopause) to mimic the fertile and nonfertile human window. US was applied transthoracically, while heart rate, stroke volume, ejection fraction, temperature, and other physiologic parameters were recorded at baseline and after exposure. Significant decreases in cardiac output compared to respective control groups were observed in multiple experimental groups, spanning both females and males. A negative chronotropic effect was observed in young male (7%) and female (16%) rats, in five-month-old male (9%) and female (15%) rats, and in old rats where the effect was not statistically significant. Younger groups and, to a lesser extent, lower weight groups generally had more significant effects. The pathophysiology of US-induced cardiovascular effects appears to be multifactorial and not strictly related to hormones, menopause, weight, sex, or age, individually.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-180
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Biological effects
  • high-power ultrasound (US)
  • therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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