Stop using ultrasound to determine sex of fetuses, urge doctors, radiologists
“Canada’s pregnancy specialists and the nation’s radiologists are calling for a halt on using ultrasound for the sole purpose of determining the sex of an unborn fetus.
In a new joint policy statement, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the Canadian Association of Radiologists also say it could be considered unethical for private, commercial clinics to offer “entertainment” ultrasounds purely for the purpose of creating “keepsake” videos for expectant parents.
The position statement comes amid mounting concerns that in Canada, people are using ultrasound to determine the sex of a fetus early in pregnancy and to have it aborted if it is a girl.”
CMAJ. 1993 Nov 15;149(10):1435-40.
Case-control study of prenatal ultrasonography exposure in children with delayed speech.
Campbell JD, Elford RW, Brant RF.
Department of Surgery, University of Calgary, Alta.
To determine whether there is an association between prenatal ultrasound exposure and delayed speech in children.
Network of community physicians affiliated with the Primary Care Research Unit, University of Calgary.
Thirty-four practitioners identified 72 children aged 24 to 100 months who had undergone a formal speech-language evaluation and were found to have delayed speech of unknown cause by a speech-language pathologist. For each case subject the practitioners found two control subjects matched for sex, date of birth, sibling birth order and associated health problems.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Rates of prenatal ultrasound exposure and delayed speech.
The children with delayed speech had a higher rate of ultrasound exposure than the control subjects. The findings suggest that a child with delayed speech is about twice as likely as a child without delayed speech to have been exposed to prenatal ultrasound waves (odds ratio 2.8, 95% confidence limit 1.5 to 5.3; p = 0.001).
An association between prenatal ultrasonography exposure and delayed speech was found. If there is no obvious clinical indication for diagnostic in-utero ultrasonography, physicians might be wise to caution their patients about the vulnerability of the fetus to noxious agents.
Curr Biol. 2013 Dec 2;23(23):2430-3. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.10.029. Epub 2013 Nov 14.
Deffieux T, Younan Y, Wattiez N, Tanter M, Pouget P, Aubry JF.
Institut Langevin Ondes et Images, ESPCI ParisTech, CNRS UMR 7587, INSERM U979, Paris 75005, France
In vivo feasibility of using low-intensity focused ultrasound (FUS) to transiently modulate the function of regional brain tissue has been recently tested in anesthetized lagomorphs  and rodents [2-4]. Hypothetically, ultrasonic stimulation of the brain possesses several advantages : it does not necessitate surgery or genetic alteration but could ultimately confer spatial resolutions superior to other noninvasive methods. Here, we gauged the ability of noninvasive FUS to causally modulate high-level cognitive behavior. Therefore, we examined how FUS might interfere with prefrontal activity in two awake macaque rhesus monkeys that had been trained to perform an antisaccade (AS) task. We show that ultrasound significantly modulated AS latencies. Such effects proved to be dependent on FUS hemifield of stimulation (relative latency increases most for ipsilateral AS). These results are interpreted in terms of a modulation of saccade inhibition to the contralateral visual field due to the disruption of processing across the frontal eye fields. Our study demonstrates for the first time the feasibility of using FUS stimulation to causally modulate behavior in the awake nonhuman primate brain. This result supports the use of this approach to study brain function. Neurostimulation with ultrasound could be used for exploratory and therapeutic purposes noninvasively, with potentially unprecedented spatial resolution.
Nature Reviews Neuroscience 11, 490-502 (July 2010) | doi:10.1038/nrn2851
Behavioural phenotyping assays for mouse models of autism
Jill L. Silverman, Mu Yang, Catherine Lord & Jacqueline N. Crawley
Autism is a heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder of unknown aetiology that affects 1 in 100–150 individuals. Diagnosis is based on three categories of behavioural criteria: abnormal social interactions, communication deficits and repetitive behaviours. Strong evidence for a genetic basis has prompted the development of mouse models with targeted mutations in candidate genes for autism. As the diagnostic criteria for autism are behavioural, phenotyping these mouse models requires behavioural assays with high relevance to each category of the diagnostic symptoms. Behavioural neuroscientists are generating a comprehensive set of assays for social interaction, communication and repetitive behaviours to test hypotheses about the causes of austism. Robust phenotypes in mouse models hold great promise as translational tools for discovering effective treatments for components of autism spectrum disorders.
Mice Exposed to Diagnostic Ultrasound In Utero Are Less Social and More Active in Social Situations Relative to Controls.
McClintic AM, King BH, Webb SJ, Mourad PD.
Department Neurological Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
Clinical use of diagnostic ultrasound imaging during pregnancy has a long history of safety and diagnostic utility, as supported by numerous human case reports and epidemiological studies. However, there exist in vivo studies linking large but clinically relevant doses of ultrasound applied to mouse fetuses in utero to altered learning, memory, and neuroanatomy of those mice. Also, there exists a well-documented significant increase in the likelihood of non-right-handedness in boys exposed to diagnostic ultrasound in utero, potentially relevant given the increased prevalence of autism in males, and reports of excess non-right-handedness in this population. Motivated by these observations, we applied 30 minutes of diagnostic ultrasound to pregnant mice at embryonic day 14.5 and assayed the social behavior of their male pups 3 weeks after their birth. The ultrasound-exposed pups were significantly (P < 0.01) less interested in social interaction than sham-exposed pups in a three-chamber sociability test. In addition, they demonstrated significantly (P < 0.05) more activity relative to the sham-exposed pups, but only in the presence of an unfamiliar mouse. These results suggest that fetal exposure to diagnostic ultrasound applied in utero can alter typical social behaviors in young mice that may be relevant for autism. There exist meaningful differences between the exposure of diagnostic ultrasound to mice versus humans that require further exploration before this work can usefully inform clinical practice. Future work should address these differences as well as clarify the extent, mechanisms, and functional effects of diagnostic ultrasound's interaction with the developing brain. Autism Res 2013, ●●: ●●-●●. © 2013 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
*Note: Mouse models of autism rely on studying symptoms, and are infantile. http://www.nature.com/nrn/journal/v11/n7/full/nrn2851.html
This just goes to show that ultrasound will soon be used to enhance the treatment of a variety of diseases. Metabolic disorders and neuropathology, too.
The overall prognosis for malignant glioma is extremely poor, and treatment options are limited in part because of multidrug resistant proteins. Our previous findings suggest low intensity ultrasound (LIUS) can induce apoptosis of glioma cells. Given this finding, we were interested in determining if LIUS could help treat glioma by inhibiting multidrug resistant proteins, and if so, which pathways are involved. In this study, the toxicity sensitivity and multidrug resistance proteins of glioma induced by LIUS were investigated using CCK-8, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorency, and RT-PCR in tissue samples and cultured cells. LIUS inhibited increase of C6 cells in an intensity- and time-dependent manner. The toxicity sensitivity of C6 cells increased significantly after LIUS sonication (intensity of 142.0 mW/cm2) or Doxorubicin (DOX) at different concentration, particularly by the combination of LIUS sonication and DOX. The expressions of P-gp and MRP1 decreased significantly post-sonication at intensity of 142.0 mW/cm2 both in vitro and in vivo. The expressions of p110 delta (PI3K), NF-κB-p65, Akt/PKB, and p-Akt/PKB were downregulated by LIUS sonication and DOX treatment separately or in combination at the same parameters in rat glioma. These results indicate that LIUS could increase the toxicity sensitivity of glioma by down-regulating the expressions of P-gp and MRP1, which might be mediated by the PI3K/Akt/NF-κB pathway.
A survey in 2006 found that only 3.8% of sonographers could correctly explain the safety readout on an ultrasound machine. This is unacceptable.
Watch this video to learn more about shortcomings in sonographer education worldwide. This is important if you plan on having children any time soon.