The authors report different MRI patterns in patients with essential tremor (ET) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) after transcranial MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) and discuss possible causes of occasional MRgFUS failure.
Between March 2012 and August 2013, MRgFUS was used to perform unilateral thalamotomy in 11 ET patients and bilateral anterior limb capsulotomy in 6 OCD patients; in all patients symptoms were refractory to drug therapy. Sequential MR images were obtained in patients across a 6-month follow-up period.
For OCD patients, lesion size slowly increased and peaked 1 week after treatment, after which lesion size gradually decreased. For ET patients, lesions were visible immediately after treatment and markedly reduced in size as time passed. In 3 ET patients and 1 OCD patient, there was no or little temperature rise (i.e., < 52°C) during MRgFUS. Successful and failed patient groups showed differences in their ratio of cortical-to-bone marrow thickness (i.e., skull density).
The authors found different MRI pattern evolution after MRgFUS for white matter and gray matter. Their results suggest that skull characteristics, such as low skull density, should be evaluated prior to MRgFUS to successfully achieve thermal rise.