Transthoracic cardiac ultrasonic stimulation induces a negative chronotropic effect

Elaine Belassiano Buiochi, Rita J. Miller, Emily Hartman, Flavio Buiochi, Rosana Bassani, Eduardo T. Costa, William D. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study is to investigate cardiac bioeffects resulting from ultrasonic stimulation using a specific set of acoustical parameters. Ten Sprague-Dawley rats were anesthetized and exposed to 1-MHz ultrasound pulses of 3-MPa peak rarefactional pressure and approximately 1% duty factor. The pulse repetition frequency started slightly above the heart rate and was decreased by 1 Hz every 10 s, for a total exposure duration of 30 s. The control group was composed of five rats. Two-way analysis of variance for repeated measures and Bonferroni post hoc tests were used to compare heart rate and ejection fraction, which was used as an index of myocardial contractility. It was demonstrated for the first time that transthoracic ultrasound has the potential to decrease the heart rate by 20%. The negative chronotropic effect lasted for at least 15 min after ultrasound exposure and there was no apparent gross damage to the cardiac tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6373788
Pages (from-to)2655-2661
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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