Histotripsy is a relatively new therapeutic ultrasound technology to mechanically liquefy tissue into subcellular debris using high-amplitude focused ultrasound pulses. In contrast to conventional high-intensity focused ultrasound thermal therapy, histotripsy has specific clinical advantages: the capacity for real-time monitoring using ultrasound imaging, diminished heat sink effects resulting in lesions with sharp margins, effective removal of the treated tissue, a tissue-selective feature to preserve crucial structures, and immunostimulation. The technology is being evaluated in small and large animal models for treating cancer, thrombosis, hematomas, abscesses, and biofilms; enhancing tumor-specific immune response; and neurological applications. Histotripsy has been recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat liver tumors, with clinical trials undertaken for benign prostatic hyperplasia and renal tumors. This review outlines the physical principles of various types of histotripsy; presents major parameters of the technology and corresponding hardware and software, imaging methods, and bioeffects; and discusses the most promising preclinical and clinical applications.

Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 26 is May 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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