In vivo investigation of intradiscal ultrasound thermal therapy in ovine cervical spine model.To evaluate the potential of interstitial ultrasound for selective heating of intradiscal tissue in vivo.Application of heat in the spine using resistive wire and radiofrequency current heating devices is currently being used clinically for minimally invasive treatment of discogenic low back pain. Treatment temperatures are representative of those required for thermal necrosis of ingrowing nociceptor nerve fibers and disc cellularity alone, or with coagulation and restructuring of anular collagen in the high temperature case.Two interstitial ultrasound applicator design configurations with directional heating patterns were evaluated in vivo in ovine cervical intervertebral discs (n = 62), with up to 45-day survival periods. Two heating protocols were employed in which the temperature measured 5 mm away from the applicator was controlled to either <54 C (capable of nerve and cellular necrosis) or >70 C (for coagulation of collagen) for a 10-minute treatment period. Transient and steady state temperature maps, calculated thermal doses (t43), and histology were used to assess the thermal treatments.These studies demonstrated the capability to control spatial temperature distributions within selected regions of the in vivo intervertebral disc and anular wall using interstitial ultrasound.Ultrasound energy is capable of penetrating within the highly attenuating disc tissue to produce more extensive radial thermal penetration, lower maximum intradiscal temperature, and shorter treatment times than can be achieved with current clinical intradiscal heating technology. Thus, interstitial ultrasound offers potential as a more precise and faster heating modality for the clinical management of low back pain and studies of thermal effects on disc tissue in animal models.
View details for DOI 10.1097/01.brs.0000256905.39488.c7
View details for PubMedID 17334283