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Kenji Fukutome, Yoshihiro Kuga, Hideyuki Ohnishi, Hidehiro Hirabayashi and Hiroyuki Nakase


Magnetic resonance imaging–guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is a novel and useful treatment for essential tremor (ET); however, the factors impacting treatment outcome are unknown. The authors conducted this study to determine the factors affecting the outcome of MRgFUS.


From May 2016 through August 2017, 15 patients with ET were admitted to Ohnishi Neurological Center and treated with MRgFUS. To determine the factors impacting treatment outcome, the authors retrospectively studied correlations between the Clinical Rating Scale for Tremor (CRST) improvement rate and age, disease duration, baseline CRST score, skull density ratio (SDR), skull volume, maximum delivered energy, or maximum temperature.


The mean CRST score was 18.5 ± 5.8 at baseline and 4.6 ± 5.7 at 1 year. The rate of improvement in the CRST score was 80% ± 22%. Younger age and lower baseline CRST score were correlated with a higher CRST improvement rate (p = 0.025 and 0.007, respectively). To obtain a CRST improvement rate ≥ 50%, a maximum temperature ≥ 55°C was necessary. There was no correlation between SDR and CRST improvement rate (p = 0.658). A lower SDR and higher skull volume required significantly higher maximum delivered energy (p = 0.014 and 0.016, respectively). A higher maximum temperature was associated with a significantly larger lesion volume (p = 0.026).


Younger age and lower baseline CRST score were favorable outcome factors. It is important to assess predictive factors when applying MRgFUS.