Kelly Ann Townsend1, Randy L. King1, Greg Zaharchuk2, Kim Butts Pauly1,2
1Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States; 2Radiology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of unfocused ultrasound on blood-brain barrier opening across the whole brain using contract enhanced-MRI. T1-weighted FSE images of the brain were acquired in rats for several minutes after gadolinium administration and unfocused ultrasound whole brain treatment. Signal increased immediately after sonication, and continued to increase in the brain as time passed, while muscle signal decreased due to washout. Our findings demonstrate that unfocused ultrasound sonication can disrupt the blood-brain barrier across the whole brain, including cortex and deep grey matter nuclei. This can be observed using contrast-enhanced MRI.