Focused ultrasound in neurosurgery: A historical perspective

Maya Harary, David J. Segar, Kevin T. Huang, Ian J. Tafel, Pablo A. Valdes, G. Rees Cosgrove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Focused ultrasound (FUS) has been under investigation for neurosurgical applications since the 1940s. Early experiments demonstrated ultrasound as an effective tool for the creation of intracranial lesions; however, they were limited by the need for craniotomy to avoid trajectory damage and wave distortion by the skull, and they also lacked effective techniques for monitoring. Since then, the development and hemispheric distribution of phased arrays has resolved the issue of the skull and allowed for a completely transcranial procedure. Similarly, advances in MR technology have allowed for the real-time guidance of FUS procedures using MR thermometry. MR-guided FUS (MRgFUS) has primarily been investigated for its thermal lesioning capabilities and was recently approved for use in essential tremor. In this capacity, the use of MRgFUS is being investigated for other ablative indications in functional neurosurgery and neurooncology. Other applications of MRgFUS that are under active investigation include opening of the blood-brain barrier to facilitate delivery of therapeutic agents, neuromodulation, and thrombolysis. These recent advances suggest a promising future for MRgFUS as a viable and noninvasive neurosurgical tool, with strong potential for yet-unrealized applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE2
JournalNeurosurgical focus
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Focused ultrasound
  • Image-guided neurosurgery
  • Therapeutic ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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