Objectives - The goal of this study is to investigate the role of sex and age of the negative chronotropic effect after exposure of 3.5-MHz pulsed ultrasound (US) to the rat heart. Methods - Forty F344 rats were exposed transthoracically to ultrasonic pulses at a duty factor of approximately 1.0% at 2.0-MPa peak rarefactional pressure amplitude. The transthoracic ultrasonic bursts were delivered consecutively in five 10-s intervals, that is, 10 s of 6-Hz pulse repetition frequency (PRF), 10 s of 5-Hz PRF, 10 s of 4-Hz PRF, 10 s of 5-Hz PRF, and 10 s of 6-Hz, for a 50-s total exposure duration. The rats were divided into 8 groups (n55 each): US young male, control young male, US young female, control young female, US old male, control old male, US old female, and control old female. Results - Two-way ANOVA for repeated measures was used to compare heart rate, cardiac output, arterial pressure, and other hemodynamic values (baseline) before and after US stimulation. Sex versus age versus US interaction was detected for heart rate. Cardiac output showed an age effect, and ejection fraction showed age and US effects. The arterial pressure showed a sex effect. A negative chronotropic effect (≥30% decrease in heart rate) was observed for young female rats. An hypothesis is that the US effect is weight (menopause) dependent, because the young (premenopausal) female rats weighed approximately 40 to 60% less than other groups of rats. Conclusions - It is likely that the ovarian hormones are responsible for different US-induced cardiac bioeffects in different ages and sexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-808
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Age
  • Biological effects
  • Chronotropic effect
  • Heart
  • Sex
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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