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Journal Of The Acoustical Society Of America


This study was performed to understand better the mechanisms of action of an (22.5 kHz) ultrasonic wire catheter device used to remove atheromatous plaque in diseased blood vessels (ultrasonic angioplasty). During a clinical procedure, the wire acts as an acoustic waveguide to transfer acoustic energy from a generator outside the body to the ball tip of the wire, which is inserted in the blood vessel. The acoustic field radiated by the vibrating ball tip (1.5- to 3.0-mm diameter), was mapped in a relatively large (600 L) water tank and compared to the field from a well-characterized simple source. A dipolelike radiation pattern due to the translating ball tip was observed. At low power settings, standing wave effects in a smaller cylindrical volume (200-mm diameter, 350-mm height), which was used to simulate anthropometric dimensions, increase relative to the larger tank measurements. The standing wave ratio is dependent upon the pc characteristics of the medium and the dimensions of the volume, rather than on the absorption at this frequency. At high power-settings of the device, cavitation at the tip of the wire was measured using a 20-MHz passive cavitation detection scheme.


This work is freely available courtesy of the Acoustical Society of America. This work originally appeared in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 100, 1855 (1996) and may be found at

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