Non-invasive transcranial ultrasound therapy based on a 3D CT scan: protocol validation and in vitro results

Phys Med Biol. 2009 May 7;54(9):2597-613. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/54/9/001. Epub 2009 Apr 8.


A non-invasive protocol for transcranial brain tissue ablation with ultrasound is studied and validated in vitro. The skull induces strong aberrations both in phase and in amplitude, resulting in a severe degradation of the beam shape. Adaptive corrections of the distortions induced by the skull bone are performed using a previous 3D computational tomography scan acquisition (CT) of the skull bone structure. These CT scan data are used as entry parameters in a FDTD (finite differences time domain) simulation of the full wave propagation equation. A numerical computation is used to deduce the impulse response relating the targeted location and the ultrasound therapeutic array, thus providing a virtual time-reversal mirror. This impulse response is then time-reversed and transmitted experimentally by a therapeutic array positioned exactly in the same referential frame as the one used during CT scan acquisitions. In vitro experiments are conducted on monkey and human skull specimens using an array of 300 transmit elements working at a central frequency of 1 MHz. These experiments show a precise refocusing of the ultrasonic beam at the targeted location with a positioning error lower than 0.7 mm. The complete validation of this transcranial adaptive focusing procedure paves the way to in vivo animal and human transcranial HIFU investigations.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / radiation effects
  • Haplorhini / anatomy & histology
  • Humans
  • Skull / diagnostic imaging*
  • Surface Properties
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonic Therapy / methods*