, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 506–509 | Cite as

Treatment of benign thyroid nodules by high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) at different acoustic powers: a study on in-silico phantom

  • Fabiano Bini
  • Pierpaolo TrimboliEmail author
  • Franco Marinozzi
  • Luca Giovanella
Endocrine Methods and Techniques



The non-surgical therapies of benign thyroid nodules are gaining momentum due to the possibility to reduce the nodule’s volume and avoid surgery. As the last technique introduced, high intensity focused ultrasound allows the thermal tissue treatment by directing energy inside the targeted nodule with no invasive instruments. In the present study we applied the Food and Drug Administration high intensity focused ultrasound simulator to in-silico phantom to evaluate the effects obtained by different acoustic powers.


The simulated layers were water and thyroid tissue. The source was a spherically curved circular transducer with radius r   = 2.3 cm generating a continuous wave beam at a frequency of 3 MHz. The focal distance was 6.5 cm. The sequence included a pulse (8 s) with acoustic power at different value from 5 to 50 W, and a cooling-off interval (32 s).


The use of acoustic power of 5 W allowed to achieve the threshold of temperature for coagulative necrosis (55 °C) at 1 s. The simulation with 50 W showed that temperature was significantly higher (above 300 °C) at 1 s and is maintained at high levels for a long interval.


Since 2016, we treated patients according to the present experience, and a significant reduction of nodule’s volume was observed with good patent’s comfort and no complications (unpublished data). Also, no anesthesia was practiced. We feel that the present data could contribute to develop a high intensity focused ultrasound therapy of benign thyroid nodules free from potential complications.


Thyroid nodules Thermal ablation High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabiano Bini
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pierpaolo Trimboli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Franco Marinozzi
    • 2
  • Luca Giovanella
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear Medicine and Thyroid CentreOncology Institute of Southern SwitzerlandBellinzonaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering“Sapienza” University of RomeRomeItaly

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