Académie royale de Médecine de Belgique


Vidéo et résumé de Erik Dumont


par Erik DUMONT (Image Guided Therapy – Bordeaux), invité

Ultrasound has become conspicuous in Medicine mostly because of the wide adoption in different medical specialties of ultrasonography as a first line imaging modality. However, before ultrasound became the most widely used imaging modality, it started as a therapeutic instrument as early as 1942. The range of usage of ultrasound in the therapeutic field has risen dramatically in recent years thanks to both a better understanding of the action of ultrasound in biological systems and to much better imaging based control systems.

There are two main effects of ultrasound on tissues: 1) mechanical effects, 2) thermal effects.

Thermal effects are being used effectively to non-invasively destroy tumors, create small very well defined lesions in the brain or selectively produce localized hyperthermia.

Mechanical effects are used to destroy tissue, to help deliver drug locally, to promote gene transfection, to induce local neurostimulation, or eventually to lyse clots.

Conclusion: ultrasound proves a very versatile tool to non-invasively perform tissue ablations, deliver or activate drugs locally, facilitate extravasation or stimulate neurons. It finds new applications in various organs and pathologies.