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An intraoperative accelerometry and real-time analysis tool for magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy.

Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is one of the newest surgical treatments for essential tremor (ET). During this procedure, a lesion is created within the thalamus to mitigate tremor. Targeting is done using a combination of stereotaxy, MR tractography, and sublesional heating, with tremor assessed during the procedure to gauge therapeutic effectiveness. Currently, tremor assessments are done qualitatively, but this approach requires the tremor change to be above a subjective threshold and provides no objective record of surgical tremor progression. Here, the authors present and demonstrate an MR-compatible accelerometer with custom MATLAB analysis code and graphical user interface to record, visualize, and quantify tremor in near real-time. Results can be exported and saved for future review. This method was used in 20 surgeries, with patients experiencing a 50.7% (95% CI -64.1% to -37.3%) improvement in the treated limb per the Clinical Rating Scale for Tremor. This method does not interrupt the surgery and is quantitative. As research on optimizing MRgFUS treatment for ET continues-for example, the refinement of targeting during sublesional sonications-such quantifying and recording of tremor changes will provide rapid and objective feedback.

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