Transcranial MR-Guided Histotripsy System

IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control. 2021 Sep;68(9):2917-2929. doi: 10.1109/TUFFC.2021.3068113. Epub 2021 Aug 27.


Histotripsy has been previously shown to treat a wide range of locations through excised human skulls in vitro. In this article, a transcranial magnetic resonance (MR)-guided histotripsy (tcMRgHt) system was developed, characterized, and tested in the in vivo pig brain through an excised human skull. A 700-kHz, 128-element MR-compatible phased-array ultrasound transducer with a focal depth of 15 cm was designed and fabricated in-house. Support structures were also constructed to facilitate transcranial treatment. The tcMRgHt array was acoustically characterized with a peak negative pressure up to 137 MPa in free field, 72 MPa through an excised human skull with aberration correction, and 48.4 MPa without aberration correction. The electronic focal steering range through the skull was 33.5 mm laterally and 50 mm axially, where a peak negative pressure above the 26-MPa cavitation intrinsic threshold can be achieved. The MR compatibility of the tcMRgHt system was assessed quantitatively using SNR, B0 field map, and B1 field map in a clinical 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. Transcranial treatment using electronic focal steering was validated in red blood cell phantoms and in vivo pig brain through an excised human skull. In two pigs, targeted cerebral tissue was successfully treated through the human skull as confirmed by MRI. Excessive bleeding or edema was not observed in the peri-target zones by the time of pig euthanasia. These results demonstrated the feasibility of using this preclinical tcMRgHt system for in vivo transcranial treatment in a swine model.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Skull / diagnostic imaging
  • Skull / surgery
  • Swine