Magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy for essential tremor

Magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy for essential tremor

Magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound is a minimally invasive surgical procedure for symptomatic treatment of Parkinson Disease. With this technology, the ventral intermediate nucleusSTN, and internal globus pallidus have been targeted for therapeutic cerebral ablation, while also minimizing the risk of hemorrhage and infection from more invasive neurosurgical procedures.

In a pilot study published in 2013, essential tremor improved in 15 patients treated with magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy1).

Clinical trials have confirmed the efficacy of focused ultrasound (FUS) thalamotomy in essential tremor, but its effectiveness and safety for managing tremor-dominant Parkinson disease (TDPD) is unknown.

It might change the way that patients with essential tremor and potentially other disorders are treated 2).

Effectiveness

The post-treatment effectiveness was evaluated using the clinical rating scale for tremors. Thalamic MRgHIFU had substantial therapeutic effects on patients, based on MRgHIFU-mediated improvements in movement control and significant changes in brain mu rhythms. Ultrasonic thalamotomy may reduce hyper-excitable activity in the motor cortex, resulting in normalized behavioral activity after sonication treatment. Thus, non-invasive and spatially accurate MRgHIFU technology can serve as a potent therapeutic tool with broad clinical applications 3).

Safety

Magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) for thalamotomy is a safe, effective and less-invasive surgical method for treating medication-refractory essential tremor (ET). However, several issues must be resolved before clinical application of MRgFUS, including optimal patient selection and management of patients during treatment 4).

Jung et al. 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 5).

Nursing management

In a large academic medical center in the mid-Atlantic region, the Department of Neurosurgery conducted a continued access study, recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration, to evaluate the effectiveness of transcranial FUS thalamotomy for the treatment of medication-refractory ET.

One patient’s experience will be introduced, including discussion of evidence-based treatment options for ET and information on the nursing management of the patient undergoing FUS thalamotomy 6).

Prospective randomized clinical trials

In a double-blinded, prospective, sham-controlled randomized controlled trial of MR-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy for treatment of tremor-dominant PD, 62% of treated patients demonstrated improvement in tremor scores from baseline to 3 months postoperatively, as compared to 22% in the sham group. There has been only one open-label trial of MR-guided focused ultrasound subthalamotomy for patients with PD, demonstrating improvements of 71% for rigidity, 36% for akinesia, and 77% for tremor 6 months after treatment. Among the two open-label trials of MR-guided focused ultrasound pallidotomy for patients with PD, dyskinesia and overall motor scores improved up to 52% and 45% at 6 months postoperatively. Although MR-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy is now approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of parkinsonian tremor, additional high-quality randomized controlled trials are warranted and are underway to determine the safety and efficacy of MR-guided focused ultrasound subthalamotomy and pallidotomy for treatment of the cardinal features of PD. These studies will be paramount to aid clinicians to determine the ideal ablative target for individual patients. Additional work will be required to assess the durability of MR-guided focused ultrasound lesions, ideal timing of MR-guided focused ultrasound ablation in the course of PD, and the safety of performing bilateral lesions 7).

Case series

References

1)

Elias WJ, Huss D, Voss T, Loomba J, Khaled M, Zadicario E, Frysinger RC, Sperling SA, Wylie S, Monteith SJ, Druzgal J, Shah BB, Harrison M, Wintermark M. A pilot study of focused ultrasound thalamotomy for essential tremor. N Engl J Med. 2013 Aug 15;369(7):640-8. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1300962. PubMed PMID: 23944301.
2)

Lipsman N, Schwartz ML, Huang Y, Lee L, Sankar T, Chapman M, Hynynen K, Lozano AM. MR-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy for essential tremor: a proof-of-concept study. Lancet Neurol. 2013 May;12(5):462-8. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(13)70048-6. Epub 2013 Mar 21. PubMed PMID: 23523144.
3)

Chang JW, Min BK, Kim BS, Chang WS, Lee YH. Neurophysiologic correlates of sonication treatment in patients with essential tremor. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2015 Jan;41(1):124-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2014.08.008. Epub 2014 Oct 22. PubMed PMID: 25438838.
4)

Chang WS, Jung HH, Kweon EJ, Zadicario E, Rachmilevitch I, Chang JW. Unilateral magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy for essential tremor: practices and clinicoradiological outcomes. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2015 Mar;86(3):257-64. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2014-307642. Epub 2014 May 29. PubMed PMID: 24876191.
5)

Jung HH, Chang WS, Rachmilevitch I, Tlusty T, Zadicario E, Chang JW. Different magnetic resonance imaging patterns after transcranial magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound of the ventral intermediate nucleus of the thalamus and anterior limb of the internal capsule in patients with essential tremor or obsessive-compulsive disorder. J Neurosurg. 2015 Jan;122(1):162-8. doi: 10.3171/2014.8.JNS132603. PubMed PMID: 25343176.
6)

Shaw KD, Johnston AS, Rush-Evans S, Prather S, Maynard K. Nursing Management of the Patient Undergoing Focused Ultrasound: A New Treatment Option for Essential Tremor. J Neurosci Nurs. 2017 Aug 16. doi: 10.1097/JNN.0000000000000301. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28817495.
7)

Moosa S, Martínez-Fernández R, Elias WJ, Del Alamo M, Eisenberg HM, Fishman PS. The role of high-intensity focused ultrasound as a symptomatic treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Mov Disord. 2019 Jul 10. doi: 10.1002/mds.27779. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 31291491.

Thalamotomy outcome

Thalamotomy outcome

There are several different surgical procedures that are used to treat essential tremor (ET), including deep brain stimulation (DBS) and thalamotomy procedures with radiofrequency (RF), radiosurgery (RS) and most recently, focused ultrasound (FUS). Choosing a surgical treatment requires a careful presentation and discussion of the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Dallapiazza et al., conducted a literature review to compare the attributes and make an appraisal of these various procedures. DBS was the most commonly reported treatment for ET. One-year tremor reductions ranged from 53% to 63% with unilateral Vim DBS. Similar improvements were demonstrated with RF (range, 74%-90%), RS (range, 48%-63%) and FUS thalamotomy (range, 35%-75%). Overall, bilateral Vim DBS demonstrated more improvement in tremor reduction since both upper extremities were treated (range, 66%-78%). Several studies show continued beneficial effects from DBS up to five years. Long-term follow-up data also support RF and gamma knife radiosurgical thalamotomy treatments. Quality of life measures were similarly improved among patients who received all treatments. Paresthesias, dysarthria and ataxiawere commonly reported adverse effects in all treatment modalities and were more common with bilateral DBS surgery. Many of the neurological complications were transient and resolved after surgery. DBS surgery had the added benefit of programming adjustments to minimise stimulation-related complications. Permanent neurological complications were most commonly reported for RF thalamotomy. Thalamic DBS is an effective, safe treatment with a long history. For patients who are medically unfit or reluctant to undergo DBS, several thalamic lesioning methods have parallel benefits to unilateral DBS surgery. Each of these surgical modalities has its own nuance for treatment and patient selection. These factors should be carefully considered by both neurosurgeons and patients when selecting an appropriate treatment for ET 1).

Gamma Knife thalamotomy (GKT) with a maximal dose of 130 Gy to the VIM is a safe procedure that can replace other surgical procedures 2).

Findings show that magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy results in sustained tremor reduction for medically refractory essential tremor even in the long term, and we highlight areas for improvement 3).

Scantlebury N, Meng Y, Lipsman N, Jain J, Dawson D, Schwartz ML. Change in some quality of life domains mimics change in tremor severity after ultrasound thalamotomy. Mov Disord. 2019 Jun 24. doi: 10.1002/mds.27774. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31234223 4).

References

1)

Dallapiazza RF, Lee DJ, De Vloo P, Fomenko A, Hamani C, Hodaie M, Kalia SK, Fasano A, Lozano AM. Outcomes from stereotactic surgery for essential tremor. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2019 Apr;90(4):474-482. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2018-318240. Epub 2018 Oct 18. Review. PubMed PMID: 30337440.
2)

Cho KR, Kim HR, Im YS, Youn J, Cho JW, Lee JI. Outcome of gamma knife thalamotomy in patients with an intractable tremor. J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2015 Mar;57(3):192-6. doi: 10.3340/jkns.2015.57.3.192. Epub 2015 Mar 20. PubMed PMID: 25810859; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4373048.
3)

Meng Y, Solomon B, Boutet A, Llinas M, Scantlebury N, Huang Y, Hynynen K, Hamani C, Fasano A, Lozano AM, Lipsman N, Schwartz ML. Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy for treatment of essential tremor: A 2-year outcome study. Mov Disord. 2018 Oct;33(10):1647-1650. doi: 10.1002/mds.99. Epub 2018 Oct 4. PubMed PMID: 30288794.
4)

Scantlebury N, Meng Y, Lipsman N, Jain J, Dawson D, Schwartz ML. Change in some quality of life domains mimics change in tremor severity after ultrasound thalamotomy. Mov Disord. 2019 Jun 24. doi: 10.1002/mds.27774. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31234223.

Update: Magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy for essential tremor

Magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy for essential tremor

J.Sales-Llopis
Neurosurgery Department, University General Hospital of Alicante, Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research in the Valencian Region (FISABIO), Alicante, Spain

Effectiveness

The post-treatment effectiveness was evaluated using the clinical rating scale for tremors. Thalamic MRgHIFU had substantial therapeutic effects on patients, based on MRgHIFU-mediated improvements in movement control and significant changes in brain mu rhythms. Ultrasonic thalamotomy may reduce hyper-excitable activity in the motor cortex, resulting in normalized behavioral activity after sonication treatment. Thus, non-invasive and spatially accurate MRgHIFU technology can serve as a potent therapeutic tool with broad clinical applications 1).

Safety

Magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) for thalamotomy is a safe, effective and less-invasive surgical method for treating medication-refractory essential tremor (ET). However, several issues must be resolved before clinical application of MRgFUS, including optimal patient selection and management of patients during treatment 2).
Jung et al. 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 3).

2014

With institutional review board approval, and with prospective informed consent, 15 patients with medication-refractory essential tremor were enrolled in a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant pilot study and were treated with transcranial MR imaging-guided focused ultrasound surgery targeting the ventralis intermedius nucleus of the thalamus contralateral to their dominant hand. Fourteen patients were ultimately included.  Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) (DT MR imaging) studies at 3 Tesla were performed preoperatively and 24 hours, 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months after the procedure. Fractional anisotropy (FA) maps were calculated from the DT imaging data sets for all time points in all patients. Voxels where FA consistently decreased over time were identified, and FA change in these voxels was correlated with clinical changes in tremor over the same period by using Pearson correlation.
Ipsilateral brain structures that showed prespecified negative correlation values of FA over time of -0.5 or less included the pre- and postcentral subcortical white matter in the hand knob area; the region of the corticospinal tract in the semioval center, in the posterior limb of the internal capsule, and in the cerebral peduncle; the thalamus; the region of the red nucleus; the location of the central tegmental tract; and the region of the inferior olive. The contralateral middle cerebellar peduncle and bilateral portions of the superior vermis also showed persistent decrease in FA over time. There was strong correlation between decrease in FA and clinical improvement in hand tremor 3 months after lesion inducement (P < .001).
DT MR imaging after MR imaging-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy depicts changes in specific brain structures. The magnitude of the DT imaging changes after thalamic lesion inducement correlates with the degree of clinical improvement in essential tremor 4).

2013

If larger trials validate the safety and ascertain the efficacy and durability of this new approach, it might change the way that patients with essential tremor and potentially other disorders are treated 5).


In a pilot study, essential tremor improved in 15 patients treated with MRI-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy. Large, randomized controlled trials will be required to assess the procedure’s efficacy and safety. (Funded by the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01304758.) 6).


MR examinations were performed before and 2 days after the ultrasound functional neurosurgical treatment to visualize the targets on T2-weighted images and determine their coordinates. Thirty consecutive targets were reconstructed: 18 were in the central lateral nucleus of the medial thalamus (central lateral thalamotomies against neurogenic pain), 1 in the centrum medianum thalamic nucleus (centrum medianum thalamotomy against essential tremor), 10 on the pallido-thalamic tract (pallido-thalamic tractotomies against Parkinson’s disease), and 1 on the cerebello-thalamic tract (cerebello-thalamic tractotomy against essential tremor). We describe a method for reconstruction of the lesion coordinates on post-treatment MR images, which were compared with the desired atlas target coordinates. We also calculated the accuracy of the intra-operative target placement, thus allowing to determine the global, planning, and device accuracies. We also estimated the target lesion volume.
Moser et al. found mean absolute global targeting accuracies of 0.44 mm for the medio-lateral dimension (standard deviation 0.35 mm), 0.38 mm for the antero-posterior dimension (standard deviation 0.33 mm), and 0.66 mm for the dorso-ventral dimension (standard deviation 0.37 mm). Out of the 90 measured coordinates, 83 (92.2%) were inside the millimeter domain. The mean three-dimensional (3D) global accuracy was 0.99 mm (standard deviation 0.39 mm). The mean target volumes, reconstructed from surface measurements on 3D T1 series, were 68.5 mm(3) (standard deviation 39.7 mm(3)), and 68.9 mm(3) (standard deviation 40 mm(3)) using an ellipsoidal approximation 7).

References

1) Chang JW, Min BK, Kim BS, Chang WS, Lee YH. Neurophysiologic correlates of sonication treatment in patients with essential tremor. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2015 Jan;41(1):124-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2014.08.008. Epub 2014 Oct 22. PubMed PMID: 25438838.
2) Chang WS, Jung HH, Kweon EJ, Zadicario E, Rachmilevitch I, Chang JW. Unilateral magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy for essential tremor: practices and clinicoradiological outcomes. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2015 Mar;86(3):257-64. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2014-307642. Epub 2014 May 29. PubMed PMID: 24876191.
3) Jung HH, Chang WS, Rachmilevitch I, Tlusty T, Zadicario E, Chang JW. Different magnetic resonance imaging patterns after transcranial magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound of the ventral intermediate nucleus of the thalamus and anterior limb of the internal capsule in patients with essential tremor or obsessive-compulsive disorder. J Neurosurg. 2015 Jan;122(1):162-8. doi: 10.3171/2014.8.JNS132603. PubMed PMID: 25343176.
4) Wintermark M, Huss DS, Shah BB, Tustison N, Druzgal TJ, Kassell N, Elias WJ. Thalamic connectivity in patients with essential tremor treated with MR imaging-guided focused ultrasound: in vivo fiber tracking by using diffusion-tensor MR imaging. Radiology. 2014 Jul;272(1):202-9. doi: 10.1148/radiol.14132112. Epub 2014 Mar 9. PubMed PMID: 24620914.
5) Lipsman N, Schwartz ML, Huang Y, Lee L, Sankar T, Chapman M, Hynynen K, Lozano AM. MR-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy for essential tremor: a proof-of-concept study. Lancet Neurol. 2013 May;12(5):462-8. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(13)70048-6. Epub 2013 Mar 21. PubMed PMID: 23523144.
6) Elias WJ, Huss D, Voss T, Loomba J, Khaled M, Zadicario E, Frysinger RC, Sperling SA, Wylie S, Monteith SJ, Druzgal J, Shah BB, Harrison M, Wintermark M. A pilot study of focused ultrasound thalamotomy for essential tremor. N Engl J Med. 2013 Aug 15;369(7):640-8. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1300962. PubMed PMID: 23944301.
7) Moser D, Zadicario E, Schiff G, Jeanmonod D. MR-guided focused ultrasound technique in functional neurosurgery: targeting accuracy. J Ther Ultrasound. 2013 Apr 25;1:3. doi: 10.1186/2050-5736-1-3. eCollection 2013. Erratum in: J Ther Ultrasound. 2013;1:17. PubMed PMID: 24761224; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3988613.
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