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Next Generation MR-Guided Focused Ultrasound Ushers In Future of Incisionless Neurosurgery

By MedImaging International staff writers
Posted on 18 Apr 2024

Essential tremor, often called familial, idiopathic, or benign tremor, leads to uncontrollable shaking that significantly affects a person’s life. When traditional medications do not alleviate symptoms, surgery may become necessary. An alternative treatment option is focused ultrasound, which controls tremors without the need for surgical incisions and typically involves fewer complications. This procedure involves the use of MRI to accurately direct sound waves to a precise location in the brain believed to cause the tremors. Initially, low energy is used to ensure the patient can communicate any sensations or side effects they experience, allowing the physician to make personalized adjustments. Subsequently, the energy is gradually increased to create a small therapeutic lesion, resulting in many patients seeing immediate tremor improvement in the treated hand.

Insightec (Haifa, Israel;) has now launched Exablate Prime, the next generation of its MR-guided focused ultrasound, with improved functionality and safety features to facilitate incisionless neurosurgery. This system, a significant enhancement to the company’s Exablate Neuro platform, builds on more than a decade of research and development for enhancing the precision, efficiency, and overall experience for both the surgeon and patient. Similar to its predecessor, the Exablate Prime facilitates incisionless neurosurgery that can be performed as an outpatient procedure, offering relief for conditions like essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease. Notable improvements to the new Exablate Prime include an enriched user interface and enhancements to optimize productivity.

Image: Exablate Prime features an enhanced user interface and enhancements to optimize productivity (Photo courtesy of Insightec)
Image: Exablate Prime features an enhanced user interface and enhancements to optimize productivity (Photo courtesy of Insightec)

The new Exablate Prime comes with guided workflows, automated steps, and a streamlined UI. It features intelligent algorithms for one-click skull-density-ratio (SDR) calculations, automatic fusion and AC/PC identification, and efficient no-pass region detection. It enables intuitive and informative therapy delivery with temperature-driven control enabled by an accurate temperature prediction algorithm. Exablate Prime offers precise targeting and lesion shaping with sub-millimetric targeting control and advanced shaping masks. Other enhancements include improved cyber security, PACS connectivity, remote planning, and troubleshooting, automatic MR scan acquisition, intelligent targeting tools, and larger MR data sets in one planning session. The system also boasts an optional, upgraded 3T head coil for improved imaging and 3D thermal spot visualization. Insightec has obtained CE approval for Exablate Prime.

"Our unwavering commitment to enhancing patient care through innovative technology led us to develop Exablate Prime," said Maurice R. Ferre, M.D., CEO and chairman of the board of Insightec. "Although Exablate Neuro has revolutionized the field of neurosurgery, Exablate Prime takes it to entirely new levels, pushing the boundaries of what is possible. We couldn't be more proud of the end result – Exablate Prime is the future of incisionless neurosurgery."

"With the growing number of European countries supporting focused ultrasound as viable treatment option for essential tremor, Exablate Prime is truly exciting," commented Giuseppe Carbone, vice president of Insightec Europe. "We are confident it will make even more of a positive impact to empower Europeans living with essential tremor and Parkinson's disease – as well as their physicians."

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