The 87th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), which was held in San Diego, California, on April 13-17, 2019, was an excellent opportunity to highlight progress in the focused ultrasound field. More than 2,000 neurosurgeons from around the globe attended the conference, making this one of the highest profile meetings in the clinical neurosciences.
“The clinical and basic scientific studies presented at AANS are examples of innovation in the focused ultrasound field, which will continue to capture the wider attention of our colleagues throughout clinical neuroscience and further drive dissemination of the technology more broadly,” said Travis S. Tierney, MD, PhD, an internationally recognized neurosurgeon who has been a leader in developing transcranial focused ultrasound therapy applications, especially for benign brain tumors.
On April 15, in Scientific Session III: Stereotactic and Functional Surgery, Marissa D'Souza presented abstract number 252: “The Effect of Skull Density Ratio (SDR) on Tremor Improvement and Rates of Adverse Events of MR-Guided Focused Ultrasound Thalamotomy.” This work was completed by the Stanford group led by Pejman Ghanouni, MD, PhD. They showcased their vast experience with relatively low SDR thalamotomy cases for essential tremor and found that, perhaps surprisingly, higher SDR cases had more complications but did not yield superior tremor control.
On April 17, in Plenary Session III, Julie Pilitsis, MD, PhD, and colleagues from Albany Medical College in Albany, NY, presented abstract number 403: “Sensory Nerve Action Potential Recordings in Low Frequency Focused Ultrasound Modulation of Common Peroneal Nerve Injury in Vivo.”
During the April 17 afternoon AANS/CNS Section on Stereotactic and Functional Surgery, Travis S. Tierney, MD, PhD, presented “New Uses for Focused Ultrasound in Neurosurgery,” making the case for neuro-oncology applications of focused ultrasound.
In the ePoster session, poster number 1097: Focused Ultrasound Combined with Intra-arterial Mitochondria as Treatment Post-Ischemic Stroke was presented by Pedro Norat; Catherine Gorick, BS; Michael Levitt, MD; Melanie Walker, MD; Min Park, MD; Petr Tvrdik, PhD; Richard Price, PhD; Yashar Kalani from the University of Virginia. The study showed that focused ultrasound-assisted mitochondria transfer to the ischemic penumbra in a mouse model of stroke is possible and may eventually demonstrate a neuroprotective role for mitochondria after ischemic stroke.
Finally, the Insightec team sponsored a booth to educate neurosurgeons on the advantages of offering focused ultrasound as part of their clinical practice.