Specialized Volumetric Thermometry for Improved Guidance of MRgFUS in Brain

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MR thermometry is critical for safe and effective transcranial focused ultrasound. The current single-slice MR thermometry sequence cannot achieve all desired treatment monitoring requirements. We propose an approach in which the imaging requirements of different aspects of treatment monitoring are met by optimizing multiple sequences.


Imaging requirements were determined for three stages of MR-guided focused ultrasound brain treatment: 1) focal spot localization, 2) focal spot monitoring, and 3) background monitoring. Multiple-echo spiral thermometry sequences were optimized for each set of requirements and then validated with in vivo signal-to-noise ratio measurements and with phantom heating experiments.


Each of the proposed sequences obtained better precision than the current two-dimensional Fourier transform (2DFT) thermometry sequence. Five-slice focal spot localization achieved two-fold better resolution with 1.9-fold better precision but two-fold longer acquisition compared to 2DFT. Five-slice focal monitoring achieved 2.1-fold better precision with similar speed but 12% larger voxels than 2DFT. Full-brain background monitoring was demonstrated in both axial (7.1 s) and sagittal (11.4 s) orientations. Phantom heating time curves were consistent across all sequences after correcting for resolution.


Multiple-echo spiral imaging significantly improves MR thermometry efficiency, enabling multiple-slice monitoring. Optimizing multiple specialized sequences provides better performance than can be achieved by any single sequence.

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