Comparative Evaluation of Magnetic Resonance-Guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery for Essential Tremor

Minsoo Kim, Na Young Jung, Chang Kyu Park, Won Seok Chang, Hyun Ho Jung, Jin Woo Chang

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47 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Treatment options for patients with drug-resistant essential tremor (ET) are limited. Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound surgery (MRgFUS) is an emerging technique to treat refractory ET. Objectives: To present MRgFUS as an alternative to radiofrequency (RF) thalamotomy or deep brain stimulation (DBS) for ET treatment. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 59 patients who underwent unilateral surgery for drug-resistant ET. Treatments included RF thalamotomy (n = 17), DBS (n = 19), and MRgFUS (n = 23). The outcomes measured were tremor severity and treatment-related complications. Results: At 1 month postoperatively, 100% of RF thalamotomy patients, 89.5% of DBS patients, and 91.3% of MRgFUS patients exhibited absent/mild tremor (successful treatment); other patients exhibited partial relief. At 12 months postoperatively, treatment success for each procedure was observed in 70.6, 84.2, and 78.3% of patients, respectively. At 1 month postoperatively, treatment-related complications had occurred in 58.8, 5.3, and 13.0% of patients, respectively. At 12 months postoperatively, side effects persisted in 11.8, 21.1, and 4.4% of patients, respectively. No statistical differences in treatment success were observed between treatments or over time. Complication rates differed between treatment modalities (p < 0.01) and were lowest in the MRgFUS group. Conclusions: Patients with drug-resistant ET received equivalent results from RF thalamotomy, DBS, and MRgFUS. DBS and MRgFUS resulted in fewer treatment-related complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-286
Number of pages8
JournalStereotactic and functional neurosurgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sept 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel. Copyright: All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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