High-intensity focused ultrasound for noninvasive functional neurosurgery

Ann Neurol. 2009 Dec;66(6):858-61. doi: 10.1002/ana.21801.


Transcranial magnetic resonance (MR)-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (tcMRgHIFU) implies a novel, noninvasive treatment strategy for various brain diseases. Nine patients with chronic neuropathic pain were treated with selective medial thalamotomies. Precisely located thermal ablations of 4mm in diameter were produced at peak temperatures of 51 degrees C to 60 degrees C under continuous visual MR guidance and MR thermometry. The resulting lesions are clearly visible on follow-up MR imaging. All treatments were well tolerated, without side effects or neurological deficits. This is the first report on successful clinical application of tcMRgHIFU in functional brain disorders, portraying it as safe and reliable for noninvasive neurosurgical interventions.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain Diseases / complications
  • Brain Mapping
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / pathology*
  • Pain Management*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Thalamus / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonic Therapy / methods*
  • Ultrasonics*