We empirically evaluate mineral oil as an alternative to the mixture of de-gassed water and ultrasound gel, which is currently used as an acoustic coupling medium in clinical magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) treatments. The tests were performed on an ExAblate®2000 MRgFUS system (InSightec Inc., Haifa, Israel) using a clinical patient set-up. Acoustic reflections, treatment temperatures, sonication spot dimensions and position with respect to target location were measured, using both coupling media, in repeated sonications in a tissue mimicking gel phantom. In comparison with the water-gel mix, strengths of acoustic reflections from coupling layers prepared with mineral oil were on average 39% lower and the difference was found to be statistically significant (p = 3.3 × 10-8). The treatment temperatures were found to be statistically equivalent for both coupling media, although temperatures corresponding to mineral oil tended to be somewhat higher (on average 1.9°C) and their standard deviations were reduced by about 1°C. Measurements of sonication spot dimensions and positions with respect to target location did not reveal systematic differences. We conclude that mineral oil may be used as an effective non-evaporating acoustic coupling medium for clinical MRgFUS treatments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging