Ablatherm vs. Sonablate - Comparison of HIFU Devices



Sonablate® 500

TURP required?

At Maple Leaf HIFU, virtually no patients have required a TUR-P prior to Ablatherm HIFU

Willing to treat larger prostates but frequently require TURP post treatment or prolonged catheterization.

Image Quality

Dual ultrasound transducers in treatment probe provides superior 7.5 MHZ imaging while allowing optimum High Intensity Ultrasound Production with a separate 3 MHZ crystal.

Single 4.0 MHZ transducer compromises image quality and treatment results.

Nerve Detection

Superior imaging allows precise visualization and localization of neurovascular bundles allowing improved nerve sparing.

No data available on preservation of erectile function with suboptimal visualization of 4.0 MHZ probe.

The Probe

Positioned by the physician the probe is robotically controlled via extremely
precise software. Allows very accurate delivery of energy to tolerance of 0.1 mm. Fully automated.

Several probe heads needed to complete treatment. Each must be manually placed and manipulated. Very operator dependent.

Prrotocal Options

Three scientifically tested and optimal energy levels for de novo, radiation
failure or HIFU retreatment conditions.

Must vary energy based on visual clues to avoid periprostatic tissue injury. Significant risk of rectal injury.


Variable lesion height in single probe allows energy to be delivered in pattern conformed to prostate anatomy

Short focal length requires use of multiple probes to complete treatment. Probe geometry poorly configures to prostate anatomy.

Safety Features

Four Safety features including external motion detector, rectal wall temperature monitoring, rectal wall thickness and “probe to rectal wall” distance protect
against rectal or periprostatic tissue injury. Automatic disengagement of firing device if parameters are violated.

Safety devices require constant operator attention to monitor limited safety parameters and adjust device energy output to prevent rectal injury (fistula) or injury to surrounding tissue.

Treatment Time

Integrated imaging with single probe and automated control keep treatment time under 2 ½ hours.

Manual requirement of probe changes, poor image quality and small treatment field extend treatment time from 3 ½ to 5 hours.

For more information, view the Article: High Intensity Focused Ultrasound for Prostate Cancer :
A Review of the Scientific Foundation, Technology and Clinical Outcomes
Rewcastle (2006) (pdf)