Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is an early-stage, noninvasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with hydrocephalus. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets deep in the brain without damaging surrounding normal tissue. Where the beams converge, the ultrasound produces precise ablation (thermal destruction of tissue) enabling the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that is contained in the cavity to pass through the holes created in the cavity, resulting the CSF being able to without surgery. While early results are promising, there is still much to be done before this technology will be widely available.
The primary options for treatment of hydrocephalus includes invasive surgery.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound may provide a noninvasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications and lower cost.
- Focused ultrasound is noninvasive, so it does not carry added concerns like surgical wound healing or infection.
- Focused ultrasound can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue.
- It can be repeated, if necessary.
At the present time, there are no clinical trials recruiting patients for focused treatment of hydrocephalus.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for hydrocephalus is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
Alkins R, Huang Y, Pajek D, Hynynen K. Cavitation-based third ventriculostomy using MRI-guided focused ultrasound. J Neurosurg. 2013 Dec;119(6):1520-9
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