During the administration of therapeutic ultrasound, the amount of pressure at the sound head-tissue interface may affect the physiological response to and the outcome of treatment. Speed of sonification; size of the treatment area; frequency, intensity, and type of wave; and coupling media are important parameters in providing the patient with an appropriate ultrasound treatment. Pressure variations affect ultrasound transmissivity, yet pressure differences have been virtually unexplored. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of sound head pressure on acoustic transmissivity. Three trials were conducted whereby pig tissue was subjected to increased sound head pressures using manufactured weights. The weights were added in 100 g increments, starting with 200 g and finishing with 1,400 g. Increased pressure on the transmitting transducer did affect acoustic transmissivity; acoustic energy transmission was increased from 200 g (0.44 lb) up to and optimally at 600 g (1.32 lb). However, there was decreased transmissivity from 700 to 1, 400 g (1.54 to 3.00 lb).
Brian Klucinec was a student at Slippery Rock University at the time of the study and is currently a student at the Krannert School of Physical Therapy, University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN 46227. Craig Denegar is with the Department of Orthopedics and Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802. Rizwan Mahmood is with the Department of Physics, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA 16057.