Technical and radiographic considerations for magnetic resonance imaging–guided focused ultrasound capsulotomy

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  • 1 Division of Neurosurgery, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre;
  • 2 Harquail Centre for Neuromodulation and Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program,
  • 3 Sunnybrook Research Institute;
  • 4 Physical Sciences Platform, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada;
  • 5 The Focused Ultrasound Foundation, Charlottesville;
  • 6 Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia;
  • 7 Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto; and
  • 8 Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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OBJECTIVE

Magnetic resonance imaging–guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is an emerging treatment modality that enables incisionless ablative neurosurgical procedures. Bilateral MRgFUS capsulotomy has recently been demonstrated to be safe and effective in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). Preliminary evidence has suggested that bilateral MRgFUS capsulotomy can present increased difficulties in reaching lesional temperatures as compared to unilateral thalamotomy. The authors of this article aimed to study the parameters associated with successful MRgFUS capsulotomy lesioning and to present longitudinal radiographic findings following MRgFUS capsulotomy.

METHODS

Using data from 22 attempted MRgFUS capsulotomy treatments, the authors investigated the relationship between various sonication parameters and the maximal temperature achieved at the intracranial target. Lesion volume and morphology were analyzed longitudinally using structural and diffusion tensor imaging. A retreatment procedure was attempted in one patient, and their postoperative imaging is presented.

RESULTS

Skull density ratio (SDR), skull thickness, and angle of incidence were significantly correlated with the maximal temperature achieved. MRgFUS capsulotomy lesions appeared similar to those following MRgFUS thalamotomy, with three concentric zones observed on MRI. Lesion volumes regressed substantially over time following MRgFUS. Fractional anisotropy analysis revealed a disruption in white matter integrity, followed by a gradual return to near-baseline levels concurrent with lesion regression. In the patient who underwent retreatment, successful bilateral lesioning was achieved, and there were no adverse clinical or radiographic events.

CONCLUSIONS

With the current iteration of MRgFUS technology, skull-related parameters such as SDR, skull thickness, and angle of incidence should be considered when selecting patients suitable for MRgFUS capsulotomy. Lesions appear to follow morphological patterns similar to what is seen following MRgFUS thalamotomy. Retreatment appears to be safe, although additional cases will be necessary to further evaluate the associated safety profile.

ABBREVIATIONS ALIC = anterior limb of the internal capsule; CI = cephalic index; FA = fractional anisotropy; MDD = major depressive disorder; MRgFUS = magnetic resonance imaging–guided focused ultrasound; OCD = obsessive-compulsive disorder; SDR = skull density ratio.

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Contributor Notes

Correspondence Nir Lipsman: Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada. nir.lipsman@sunnybrook.ca.

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online September 25, 2020; DOI: 10.3171/2020.6.JNS201302.

Disclosures Dr. Hynynen receives royalties from InSightec.

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