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Abstract

Transcranial magnetic resonance (MR)-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (tcMRgHIFU) implies a novel, noninvasive treatment strategy for various brain diseases. Nine patients with chronic neuropathic pain were treated with selective medial thalamotomies. Precisely located thermal ablations of 4mm in diameter were produced at peak temperatures of 51°C to 60°C under continuous visual MR guidance and MR thermometry. The resulting lesions are clearly visible on follow-up MR imaging. All treatments were well tolerated, without side effects or neurological deficits. This is the first report on successful clinical application of tcMRgHIFU in functional brain disorders, portraying it as safe and reliable for noninvasive neurosurgical interventions. Ann Neurol 2009;66:858–861