Potential optimization of focused ultrasound capsulotomy for obsessive compulsive disorder

Jürgen Germann, Gavin J.B. Elias, Clemens Neudorfer, Alexandre Boutet, Clement T. Chow, Emily H.Y. Wong, Roohie Parmar, Flavia Venetucci Gouveia, Aaron Loh, Peter Giacobbe, Se Joo Kim, Hyun Ho Jung, Venkat Bhat, Walter Kucharczyk, Jin Woo Chang, Andres M. Lozano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a debilitating and often refractory psychiatric disorder. Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound is a novel, minimally invasive neuromodulatory technique that has shown promise in treating this condition. We investigated the relationship between lesion location and long-term outcome in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder treated with focused ultrasound to discern the optimal lesion location and elucidate the efficacious network underlying symptom alleviation. Postoperative images of 11 patients who underwent focused ultrasound capsulotomy were used to correlate lesion characteristics with symptom improvement at 1-year follow-up. Normative resting-state functional MRI and normative diffusion MRI-based tractography analyses were used to determine the networks associated with successful lesions. Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder treated with inferior thalamic peduncle deep brain stimulation (n = 5) and lesions from the literature implicated in obsessive-compulsive disorder (n = 18) were used for external validation. Successful long-term relief of obsessive-compulsive disorder was associated with lesions that included a specific area in the dorsal anterior limb of the internal capsule. Normative resting-state functional MRI analysis showed that lesion engagement of areas 24 and 46 was significantly associated with clinical outcomes (R = 0.79, P = 0.004). The key role of areas 24 and 46 was confirmed by (i) normative diffusion MRI-based tractography analysis, showing that streamlines associated with better outcome projected to these areas; (ii) association of these areas with outcomes in patients receiving inferior thalamic peduncle deep brain stimulation (R = 0.83, P = 0.003); and (iii) the connectedness of these areas to obsessive-compulsive disorder-causing lesions, as identified using literature-based lesion network mapping. These results provide considerations for target improvement, outlining the specific area of the internal capsule critical for successful magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound outcome and demonstrating that discrete frontal areas are involved in symptom relief. This could help refine focused ultrasound treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder and provide a network-based rationale for potential alternative targets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3529-3540
Number of pages12
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s) (2021). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Potential optimization of focused ultrasound capsulotomy for obsessive compulsive disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this