MR Guided Focused Ultrasound

What is MR Guided Focused Ultrasound Treatment?

Nicklaus Children's Hospital is studying the safety and feasibility of magnetic resonance (MR) guided focused ultrasound technology - an incision-free technique- to treat centrally located brain tumors in children and young adults.

MR guided focused ultrasound is an approved therapy for adults with essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease. 

The Nicklaus Children’s Brain Institute project is an investigational device exemption (IDE) study of the use of focused ultrasound for the treatment of benign intracranial tumors in patients between 8 and 22 years of age.  The research study, which began in 2017, has so far treated five patients ranging from 15 to 22 years of age.

What happens during the procedure?

MR guided focused ultrasound is performed using the InSightec Exablate Neuro system. The procedure takes place entirely in the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suite under general anesthesia. Using MRI imaging, one thousand high intensity ultrasound sources are focused precisely on the target tissue in the brain. MRI provides high-resolution visualization of the brain as well as near real-time monitoring of tissue changes caused by the treatment. This technology allows surgeons to precisely heat and destroy the target tumor, without opening the scalp, skull or injuring the surrounding healthy brain tissue.

Who is a candidate for MR guided Focused Ultrasound Treatment?

This experimental use of focused ultrasound is being conducted under an FDA-approved research study funded by Nicklaus Children's Hospital, with support from the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. The study is intended for patients between the ages of 8 and 22 years of age with benign tumors (such as astrocytoma or hypothalamic hamartoma) of the central regions of the brain.

For more information on this research study and to learn more visit: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03028246


This page was last updated on: December 06, 2021 09:41 AM

Brain Institute

At Nicklaus Children's, your child really does matter most. Please read below about our comprehensive pediatric neurological programs, treatment approaches, what to expect as a patient, a parent, a family and much more.

Learn more

Research on revolutionary technology for incisionless treatment of brain tumors

December 03, 2021 – It sounds like a medical protocol straight out of a science fiction movie: A brain tumor neatly eliminated with an incisionless form of surgery. Five patients have undergone MR guided focused ultrasound at Nicklaus Children's with favorable results. Most were able to return home soon after their surgeries with reduced seizures and symptoms.

Related Videos

MR Guided Focused Ultrasound Research Study

Nicklaus Children's Hospital is studying the safety and feasibility of magnetic resonance (MR) guided focused ultrasound technology - an incision-free technique- to treat centrally located brain tumors in children and young adults.