The targeting accuracy of a preclinical MRI-guided focused ultrasound system

N. P.K. Ellens, I. Kobelevskiy, A. Chau, A. C. Waspe, R. M. Staruch, R. Chopra, K. Hynynen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose: Assess the accuracy, precision, and sources of error using a preclinical MR-guided focused ultrasound system. Methods: A preclinical focused ultrasound system, described previously [Chopra et al., Med. Phys. 36(5), 18671874 (2009)], was tested on a benchtop and with 3T GE, 3T Philips, and 7T Bruker MR scanners for spatial targeting accuracy and precision. Randomly distributed water-filled holes drilled into a polystyrene plate were imaged using MRI and targeted using treatment planning software. The ultrasound focus of a 72 mm, f-number 0.8, 1.16 MHz transducer was aimed at the target locations, and 12 s continuous-wave sonications were performed on clear polystyrene plates to create localized spots of melted plastic. The distance between target and observed locations was measured and analyzed. Retrospective analysis of targeting accuracy was performed on preclinical data obtained from other experiments at their institution using the same system. Results: The results suggest that the sources of targeting error under MR guidance can be roughly separated into three componentsnormally distributed random error; constant shift from inaccuracy in detection of the initial ultrasound focus; and angular misalignment between MR and focused ultrasound (FUS) coordinates. The lower bound on the targeting error was estimated to be 0.25±0.13 mm, while the maximum observed targeting error did not exceed 2 mm. Measures required to reduce errors and improve targeting were developed to reduce the registration and misalignment errors such that maximum error was reduced to 0.36±0.14 mm. Retrospective in vivo analysis indicated that the error was 1.02±0.43 mm, including error extrinsic to the system. Conclusions: The FUS system, as described, is capable of precise and accurate sonications. The largest source of errormisregistration of the coordinate systems of the scanner and ultrasound systemwas addressed which reduced the error to 0.36±0.14 mm, sufficient for many preclinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-439
Number of pages10
JournalMedical physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • MRI combatible
  • MRI-guided focused ultrasound
  • blood-brain barrier disruption
  • preclinical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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