A rapid beam simulation framework for transcranial focused ultrasound

Sci Rep. 2019 May 28;9(1):7965. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-43775-6.


Transcranial focused ultrasound is a non-invasive therapeutic modality that can be used to treat essential tremor. Beams of energy are focused into a small spot in the thalamus, resulting in tissue heating and ablation. Here, we report on a rapid 3D numeric simulation framework that can be used to predict focal spot characteristics prior to the application of ultrasound. By comparing with magnetic resonance proton resonance frequency shift thermometry (MR thermometry) data acquired during treatments of essential tremor, we verified that our simulation framework can be used to predict focal spot position, and with patient-specific calibration, predict focal spot temperature rise. Preliminary data suggests that lateral smearing of the focal spot can be simulated. The framework may also be relevant for other therapeutic ultrasound applications such as blood brain barrier opening and neuromodulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Essential Tremor / diagnostic imaging
  • Essential Tremor / pathology
  • Essential Tremor / surgery*
  • High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation / instrumentation
  • High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Precision Medicine
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Temperature
  • Thalamus / diagnostic imaging
  • Thalamus / pathology
  • Thalamus / surgery*
  • Thermometry / instrumentation
  • Thermometry / methods*