The Clinical Ultrasound Laboratory (CUL) was established in April 2013 to improve and expand the use of ultrasound in medicine. The Principal Investigator is Greg Clement, PhD, who joined the Lerner Research Institute from Harvard University and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where he was an Associate Professor, Head of Imaging for the National Center for Image Guided Therapy, and the Technical Director of the Focused Ultrasound Laboratory.
Dr. Clement’s research has concentrated on methods to improve ultrasound resolution and ways to access areas in the body traditionally considered “off limits” to ultrasound due to the presence of bone. With specific concentration on the brain, he has developed several novel techniques for focusing ultrasound through the skull for improved ultrasound imaging and therapy.
Laboratory efforts at the Cleveland Clinic will center on developing disorder-specific noninvasive ultrasound tools and techniques. By using contrast agents, and with a better understanding of how these agents travel through the circulatory system, the laboratory will investigate methods for quantifying and mapping blood flow in the kidneys, the testicles, and in certain tumors. Imaging efforts in the brain will include the development of ultrasound brain tomography to detect hemorrhage and lesions, methods to detect brain shift during surgery, and monitors for hydrocephalus.
The laboratory is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (Department of Defense).
Standard ultrasound machines can’t “see” through bone, making many organs – including the brain – unreachable. Dr. Clement is exploring ways to get ultrasound through bone to make images of the brain and other parts of the body. He has already developed several methods for focusing ultrasound energy through the skull and is now using these techniques to get better pictures that may show blood leakage or vessel blockage that, if untreated, could lead to stroke. His new ultrasound methods can detect how much the brain shifts during brain surgery and can help doctors monitor patients with "water on the brain."
Using ultrasound, the Clement team is also finding how to measure blood flow in the capillaries, the body’s tiniest vessels. The ability to detect unusual flows in these small vessels could help determine if organs, such as the kidney, are working properly. These same methods may also help doctors detect certain tumors that are currently invisible to other imaging methods. Dr. Clement’s new, nonsurgical techniques will help doctors in many specialties give patients better care.
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Clement GT, Nomura H, Adachi H, Kamakura T, Feasibility of non-contact ultrasound for medical imaging, Physics in Medicine and Biology 2013; 58: 6263-6278
McDannold N, Clement GT, Black P, Jolesz F, Hynynen K. Focused ultrasound surgery of brain tumors: Initial findings in three patients. Neurosurgery 2010;66:323-32; discussion 332.
Clement GT, Hynynen K. A non-invasive method for focusing ultrasound through the human skull. Phys Med Biol 2002;47(8):1219-36.