Frontiers in Neurology (May 2021)

Outcome and Complications of MR Guided Focused Ultrasound for Essential Tremor: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

  • Mohit Agrawal,
  • Kanwaljeet Garg,
  • Raghu Samala,
  • Roopa Rajan,
  • Vikas Naik,
  • Manmohan Singh

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12


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Background: Magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is a relatively novel technique to treat essential tremor (ET). The objective of this review was to analyze the efficacy and the safety profile of MRgFUS for ET.Methods: A systematic literature review was done. The post procedure changes in the Clinical Rating Scale for Tremor (CRST) score, hand score, disability and quality of life scores were analyzed.Results: We found 29 studies evaluating 617 patients. DTI based targeting was utilized in six cohorts. A significant difference was observed in the pooled standard mean difference between the pre and postoperative total CRST score (p-value < 0.001 and 0.0002), hand score (p-value 0.03 and 0.02); and the disability at 12 months (p-value 0.01). Head pain and dizziness were the most in procedure complications. The immediate pooled proportion of ataxia was 50%, while it was 20% for sensory complications, which, respectively, declined to 31 and 13% on long term follow up. A significant reduction (p = 0.03) in immediate ataxia related complications was seen with DTI targeting.Conclusion: MRgFUS for ET seems to be an effective procedure for relieving unilateral tremor. Use of DTI based targeting revealed a significant reduction in post procedure ataxia related complications as compared to traditional targeting techniques. Analysis of other complications further revealed a decreasing trend on follow up.