Dual-sectored transurethral ultrasound for thermal treatment of stress urinary incontinence: in silico studies in 3D anatomical models
Liu, D.; Adams, M.; Burdette, E.C.; Diederich, C.J.
Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing 58(6): 1325-1340
ISSN/ISBN: 1741-0444 PMID: 32277340 DOI: 10.1007/s11517-020-02152-6
The purpose of this study is to investigate the feasibility and performance of a stationary, non-focused dual-sectored tubular transurethral ultrasound applicator for thermal exposure of tissue regions adjacent to the urethra for treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI) through acoustic and biothermal simulations on 3D anatomical models. Parametric studies in a generalized tissue model over dual-sectored ultrasound applicator configurations (acoustic surface intensities, lateral active acoustic output sector angles, and durations) were performed. Selected configurations and delivery strategies were applied on 3D pelvic anatomical models. Temperature and thermal dose distributions on the target region and surrounding tissues were calculated. Endovaginal cooling was explored as a strategy to mitigate vaginal heating. The 75-90° dual-sectored transurethral tubular transducer (3.5 mm outer diameter (OD), 14 mm length, 6.5 MHz, 8.8-10.2 W/cm2) and 2-3-min sonication duration were selected from the parametric study for acoustic and biothermal simulations on anatomical models. The transurethral applicator with two opposing 75-90° active lateral tubular sectors can create two heated volumes for a total of up to 1.8 cm3 over 60 EM43 °C, with at least 10 mm radial penetration depth, 1.2 mm urethral sparing, and no lethal damage to the vagina and adjacent bone (< 60 EM43 °C). Endovaginal cooling can be applied to further reduce the vaginal wall exposure (< 15 EM43 °C). Simulations on 3D anatomical models indicate that dual-sectored transurethral ultrasound applicators can selectively heat pelvic floor tissue lateral to the mid-urethra in short treatment durations, without damaging adjacent vaginal and bone tissues, as a potential alternative treatment option for stress urinary incontinence. Graphical abstract Schema for in silico investigation of transurethral ultrasound thermal therapy applicator for minimally invasive treatment of SUI.