Magnetic resonance (MR) guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is a hybrid technique which offers efficient and safe focused ultrasound (FUS) treatments of uterine fibroids under MR guidance and monitoring. As a therapy device, MRgFUS requires systematic testing over a wide range of operational parameters prior to use in the clinical environment. We present technical acceptance tests and data for the first clinical MRgFUS system, ExAblate® 2000 (InSightec Inc., Haifa, Israel), that has been FDA approved for treating uterine fibroids. These tests characterize MRgFUS by employing MR temperature measurements in tissue mimicking phantoms. The coronal scan plane is empirically demonstrated to be most reliable for measuring temperature elevations resulting from high intensity ultrasound (US) pulses ('sonications') and shows high sensitivity to changes in sonication parameters. Temperatures measured in the coronal plane were used as a measure of US energy deposited within the focal spot for a range of sonication parameters used in clinical treatments: spot type, spot length, output power, sonication duration, US frequency, and depth of sonication. In addition, MR images acquired during sonications were used to measure effective diameters and lengths of available sonication spot types and lengths. At a constant 60 W output power, the effective spot type diameters were measured to vary between 4.7 ± 0.3 mm and 6.6 ± 0.4 mm; treatment temperatures were found to decrease with increasing spot diameter. Prescribing different spot lengths was found to have no effect on the measured length or on measured temperatures. Tests of MRgFUS positioning accuracy determined errors in the direction parallel to the propagation of the US beam to be significantly greater than those in the perpendicular direction; most sonication spots were erroneously positioned towards the FUS transducer. The tests reported here have been demonstrated to be sufficiently sensitive to detect water leakage inside the FUS transducer. The data presented could be used for comparison by those conducting acceptance tests on other clinical MRgFUS systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging