Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound in neurosurgery: Taking lessons from the past to inform the future

Na Young Jung, Jin Woo Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is a new emerging neurosurgical procedure applied in a wide range of clinical fields. It can generate high-intensity energy at the focal zone in deep body areas without requiring incision of soft tissues. Although the effectiveness of the focused ultrasound technique had not been recognized because of the skull being a main barrier in the transmission of acoustic energy, the development of hemispheric distribution of ultrasound transducer phased arrays has solved this issue and enabled the performance of true transcranial procedures. Advanced imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance thermometry could enhance the safety of MRgFUS. The current clinical applications of MRgFUS in neurosurgery involve stereotactic ablative treatments for patients with essential tremor, Parkinson's disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder, major depressive disorder, or neuropathic pain. Other potential treatment candidates being examined in ongoing clinical trials include brain tumors, Alzheimer's disease, and epilepsy, based on MRgFUS abilities of thermal ablation and opening the blood-brain barrier. With the development of ultrasound technology to overcome the limitations, MRgFUS is gradually expanding the therapeutic field for intractable neurological disorders and serving as a trail for a promising future in noninvasive and safe neurosurgical care.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere279
JournalJournal of Korean medical science
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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