Document Detail

Nonthermal effects of therapeutic ultrasound: the frequency resonance hypothesis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16558674     Owner:  NLM     Status:  PubMed-not-MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: To present the frequency resonance hypothesis, a possible mechanical mechanism by which treatment with non-thermal levels of ultrasound stimulates therapeutic effects. The review encompasses a 4-decade history but focuses on recent reports describing the effects of nonthermal therapeutic levels of ultrasound at the cellular and molecular levels.
DATA SOURCES: A search of MEDLINE from 1965 through 2000 using the terms ultrasound and therapeutic ultrasound.
DATA SYNTHESIS: The literature provides a number of examples in which exposure of cells to therapeutic ultrasound under nonthermal conditions modified cellular functions. Nonthermal levels of ultrasound are reported to modulate membrane properties, alter cellular proliferation, and produce increases in proteins associated with inflammation and injury repair. Combined, these data suggest that nonthermal effects of therapeutic ultrasound can modify the inflammatory response.
CONCLUSIONS: The concept of the absorption of ultrasonic energy by enzymatic proteins leading to changes in the enzymes activity is not novel. However, recent reports demonstrating that ultrasound affects enzyme activity and possibly gene regulation provide sufficient data to present a probable molecular mechanism of ultrasound's nonthermal therapeutic action. The frequency resonance hypothesis describes 2 possible biological mechanisms that may alter protein function as a result of the absorption of ultrasonic energy. First, absorption of mechanical energy by a protein may produce a transient conformational shift (modifying the 3-dimensional structure) and alter the protein's functional activity. Second, the resonance or shearing properties of the wave (or both) may dissociate a multimolecular complex, thereby disrupting the complex's function. This review focuses on recent studies that have reported cellular and molecular effects of therapeutic ultrasound and presents a mechanical mechanism that may lead to a better understanding of how the nonthermal effects of ultrasound may be therapeutic. Moreover, a better understanding of ultrasound's mechanical mechanism could lead to a better understanding of how and when ultrasound should be employed as a therapeutic modality.
Lennart D Johns
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of athletic training     Volume:  37     ISSN:  1938-162X     ISO Abbreviation:  J Athl Train     Publication Date:  2002 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-06-29     Completed Date:  2010-07-02     Revised Date:  2014-07-30    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9301647     Medline TA:  J Athl Train     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  293-9     Citation Subset:  -    
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From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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