Purpose: The aim of this animal study was to evaluate the safety and feasibility of a portable, ultrasonography-guided, high-intensity focused ultrasound (USg-HIFU) system to treat the pancreas. Methods: Eight swine were included. Using a portable HIFU device (ALPIUS 900, Alpinion Medical Systems), ablations were performed on the pancreas in vivo. Different acoustic intensities were applied (1.7 kW/cm2 or 1.5 kW/cm2, n=2 [group A for a pilot study]; 1.5 kW/ cm2, n=3 [group B]; and 1.2 kW/cm2, n=3 [group C]). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed immediately (group A) or 7 days (groups B and C) after HIFU treatment. In groups B and C, serum amylase and lipase levels were measured on days 0 and 7, and performance status was observed every day. Necropsy was performed on days 0 (group A) or 7 (groups B and C) to assess the presence of unintended injuries and to obtain pancreatic and peripancreatic tissue for histological analysis. Results: Ablation was noted in the pancreas in all swine on MRI, and all pathologic specimens showed coagulation necrosis in the treated area. The mean ablation areas on MRI were 85.3±38.1 mm2, 90.7±21.2 mm2, and 54.4±30.6 mm2 in groups A, B, and C, respectively (P>0.05). No animals showed evidence of complications, except for one case of a pseudocyst in group B. Conclusion: This study showed that pancreas ablation using a portable USg-HIFU system may be safe and feasible, and that coagulation necrosis of the pancreas was successfully achieved with a range of acoustic intensities.
- Animal research
- High-intensity focused ultrasound