Clot Lysis

Focused ultrasound, either alone or enhanced by microbubbles and/or thrombolytic agents, can dissolve blood clots1.

Ultrasound energy causes vibrations that can either break the clot apart directly —via disruption of the fibrin matrix—or make it more susceptible to the effects of thrombolytic agents1–3. In preclinical studies, researchers have shown the feasibility of treating both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke4–6 as well as inducing reperfusion of occluded blood vessels1.

Conventional treatments for clots within the brain, particularly those due to intracerebral hemorrhage, require invasive action that can increase the risk of the procedure. Focused ultrasound may enable minimally invasive or non-invasive treatment of clots that causes no permanent damage to the surrounding tissue or blood-brain barrier6.


[1] C. Wright, K. Hynynen, and D. Goertz, “In vitro and in vivo high-intensity focused ultrasound thrombolysis.,” Investig. Radiol., vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 217–225, Apr. 2012.

[2] S. J. Monteith, N. F. Kassell, O. Goren, and S. Harnof, “Transcranial MR-guided focused ultrasound sonothrombolysis in the treatment of intracerebral hemorrhage.,” Neurosurg. Focus, vol. 34, no. 5, May 2013. 

[3] N. Abi-Jaoudeh, W. F. Pritchard, H. Amalou, M. Linguraru, O. A. Chiesa, J. D. Adams, C. Gacchina, R. Wesley, S. Maruvada, B. McDowell, V. Frenkel, J. W. Karanian, and B. J. Wood, “Pulsed high-intensity-focused US and tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) versus TPA alone for thrombolysis of occluded bypass graft in swine.,” J. Vasc. Interv. Radiol. : JVIR, vol. 23, no. 7, pp. 953–961.e2, Jul. 2012. 

[4] Hitchcock KE, Holland CK. Ultrasound-assisted thrombolysis for stroke therapy: better thrombus break-up with bubbles. Stroke J. Cereb. Circ. 2010;41:S50–3.

[5] A. Burgess, Y. Huang, A. C. Waspe, M. Ganguly, D. E. Goertz, and K. Hynynen, “High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for dissolution of clots in a rabbit model of embolic stroke.,” PLoS ONE, vol. 7, no. 8, Aug. 2012. 

[6] S. J. Monteith, S. Harnof, R. Medel, B. Popp, M. Wintermark, M. B. S. Lopes, N. F. Kassell, W. J. Elias, J. Snell, M. Eames, E. Zadicario, K. Moldovan, and J. Sheehan, “Minimally invasive treatment of intracerebral hemorrhage with magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound.,” J. Neurosurg., vol. 118, no. 5, pp. 1035–1045, May 2013. 

Click here for additional references from PubMed.