Background: Treatment options for patients with drug-resistant essential tremor (ET) are limited. Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound surgery (MRgFUS) is an emerging technique to treat refractory ET. Objectives: To present MRgFUS as an alternative to radiofrequency (RF) thalamotomy or deep brain stimulation (DBS) for ET treatment. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 59 patients who underwent unilateral surgery for drug-resistant ET. Treatments included RF thalamotomy (n = 17), DBS (n = 19), and MRgFUS (n = 23). The outcomes measured were tremor severity and treatment-related complications. Results: At 1 month postoperatively, 100% of RF thalamotomy patients, 89.5% of DBS patients, and 91.3% of MRgFUS patients exhibited absent/mild tremor (successful treatment); other patients exhibited partial relief. At 12 months postoperatively, treatment success for each procedure was observed in 70.6, 84.2, and 78.3% of patients, respectively. At 1 month postoperatively, treatment-related complications had occurred in 58.8, 5.3, and 13.0% of patients, respectively. At 12 months postoperatively, side effects persisted in 11.8, 21.1, and 4.4% of patients, respectively. No statistical differences in treatment success were observed between treatments or over time. Complication rates differed between treatment modalities (p < 0.01) and were lowest in the MRgFUS group. Conclusions: Patients with drug-resistant ET received equivalent results from RF thalamotomy, DBS, and MRgFUS. DBS and MRgFUS resulted in fewer treatment-related complications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology