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Transcranial Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Guided Focused Ultrasound Treatment at 1.5 T: A Retrospective Study on Treatment- and Patient-Related Parameters Obtained From 52 Procedures

  • Authors: Gagliardo, Cesare; Marrale, Maurizio; D'Angelo, Costanza; Cannella, Roberto; Collura, Giorgio; Iacopino, Gerardo; D'Amelio, Marco; Napoli, Alessandro; Bartolotta, Tommaso Vincenzo; Catalano, Carlo; Lagalla, Roberto; Midiri, Massimo
  • Publication year: 2020
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Objective: To present a retrospective analysis of patient- and sonication-related parameters of a group of patients treated with a transcranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided focused ultrasound (tcMRgFUS) system integrated with a 1.5-T MRI unit. Methods: The data obtained from 59 patients, who underwent the tcMRgFUS procedure from January 2015 to April 2019, were retrospectively reviewed for this study. The following data, among others, were mainly collected: skull density ratio (SDR), skull area (SA), number of available transducer elements (Tx), and estimated focal power at target (FP). For each of the four different treatment stages, we calculated the number of sonication processes (S-n), user-defined sonication power (S-p), effective measured power (S-mp), sonication duration (S-d), user-defined energy (E), effective measured energy (E-m), maximum temperature (T-max), and MR thermometry plane orientation. Furthermore, the time delay between each sonication (S-t) and the total treatment time (T-t) were recorded. Results: Fifty-two patients (40 males and 12 females; age 64.51 +/- SD 11.90 years; range 26-86 years), who underwent unilateral Vim thalamotomy (left = 50, 96.15%; right = 2, 3.85%) for medication-refractory essential tremor (n = 39; 78%) or Parkinson tremor (n = 13; 22%) were considered. A total of 1,068 (95.10%) sonication processes were included in our final analysis (average S-n per treatment: 20.65 +/- 6.18; range 13-41). The energy released onto the planned target was found to decrease with the SDR for all temperature ranges. A positive correlation was observed between the slope of T-max vs. E-m plot and the SDR (R-2 = 0.765; p < 0.001). In addition, the T-max was positively correlated with SDR (R-2 = 0.398; p < 0.005). On the contrary, no significant correlation was found between SDR and SA or Tx. An analysis of the MR thermometry scanning plane indicated that, at our site, the axial and the coronal planes were used (on average) 10.4 (SD +/- 3.8) and 7.7 (SD +/- 3.0) times, respectively, whereas the sagittal plane was used only 2.5 (SD +/- 3.0) times per treatment. Conclusion: Our results confirm the factors that significantly influence the course of a tcMRgFUS procedure even when a 1.5-T MRI scanner is used for procedure guidance. The experience we gained in this study indicates that the SDR remains one of the most significant technical parameters to be considered in a tcMRgFUS procedure. The possibility of prospectively setting the sonication energy according to the presented curves of energy delivery as a function of SDR for each treatment stage could provide a further understanding and a greater awareness of this emerging technology.