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IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000236808D
Publication Date: 2014-May-16
Document File: 7 page(s) / 698K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database


The invention proposes a real time smart application that not only provides flexibility to navigate and alter prescriptions in real-time but also capable of running tracking sequence upon request instead of a new sequence that enhances efficacy of the procedure. After completing planning phase in a magnetic resonance (MR)-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) procedure, the smart sequence is launched to start treatment. User selects a special coil in user interface (UI) where both tracking and imaging coil are combined. Then the user prescribes the parameters for both the transducer tracking and phase imaging, and starts the scan.

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The invention generally relates to magnetic resonance (MR)-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) procedure and more particularly to a sequence that enables MR system to check position of ablation device before each sonication.


Nearly 190,000 men in the United States (US) are diagnosed with prostate cancer annually. With early identification and treatment, prostate cancer has a cure rate of over 90%. After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. Conventional treatment options for prostate cancer include prostatectomy which is surgical removal of the prostate gland, radiation therapy, brachytherapy which is implantation of radioactive seeds, and cryotherapy. The treatment options are accompanied by relatively high levels of adverse events which significantly impact quality of life of prostate cancer patients. The most common of the adverse events are incontinence and impotence.

Magnetic resonance (MR)-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is a noninvasive procedure based on the combination of MR anatomic guidance, MR thermometry, and high-intensity focused ultrasound. MRgFUS provides improved imaging of the prostate and surrounding critical structures and measurement of thermal energy deposition allowing better control of treatment.

Treatment time is a critical factor in MRgFUS procedure, as the patient is required to be inside a bore for a long duration. For example, time duration runs into 5 to 6 hours for prostate treatment. Typical MRgFUS procedure includes planning, treatment and verification. During planning, region of treatment (ROT) is identified and marked several sub-region for sonication later in treatment phase. Treatment includes confirmation of transducer position through tracking pulse sequence, followed by sonication of each sub-region and acquiring MR phase images over a period of time in ROT. The phase images are then processed to generate thermal maps to monitor temperature of treated zone. This workflow demands running, planning pulse sequences first, followed by, playing two pulse sequences which are tracking and phase imaging, back to back for each sonication.

Typical prostate MRgFUS treatment requires ~120 sonication’s. Prescribing the two sequences repeatedly for all the sonications is time consuming. Also, prescription parameters, such as, location and coverage in phase imaging is not altered in the middle of the scan, As a result, there is an option of losing navigation in case if the patient moves. Further, there is no control to reduce coverage at the extremities which saves some more time. FIG. 1 depicts requirement for variable prescription at extremities.

FIG. 1

At present, clinical requirement includes performing MRgFUS procedure in as much as possible shortest time. There are conventional techniques that exist to perform phase imaging, such as, thermal imaging, both in batch mode and in real ti...