From the University of Zurich:
The HIFU system ExAblate® 4000, developed by the cooperation partner InSightec, Tirat Carmel Israel, has been combined with a 3 Tesla high field GE MR-scanner. The two systems together provide a platform for image-guided, non-invasive interventions. Since September 2008 ten patients were treated at the Children’s Hospital Zurich with this new neurosurgical procedure in the context of a clinical study. All interventions were completed successfully and without complications. This novel technology now opens up new horizons allowing to develop non-invasive intervention procedures for a variety of brain diseases including brain tumors.
The whole surgical procedure is planned and monitored in real time by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The HIFU beams produced by 1024 transducers are transferred through the intact skull of the patient into the brain and concentrated onto a focus of 3 to 4 millimeters in diameter. Thus, sharply defined targets deep inside the brain are coagulated by heating them up to a focal temperature of 60 degrees Celsius. The temperature increase during the sequential “sonications”, each lasting 10 to 20 seconds, is continuously displayed and controlled on precise MR-temperature distribution maps. The whole surgical procedure lasts several hours and is performed without anaesthesia. Patients are awake and fully conscious during the intervention.
The following video of ExAblate Brain device treatment has been released by the company: