, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 67–87 | Cite as

Applications of Focused Ultrasound in Cerebrovascular Diseases and Brain Tumors

  • Francesco PradaEmail author
  • M. Yashar S. Kalani
  • Kaan Yagmurlu
  • Pedro Norat
  • Massimiliano Del Bene
  • Francesco DiMeco
  • Neal F. Kassell


Oncology and cerebrovascular disease constitute two of the most common diseases afflicting the central nervous system. Standard of treatment of these pathologies is based on multidisciplinary approaches encompassing combination of interventional procedures such as open and endovascular surgeries, drugs (chemotherapies, anti-coagulants, anti-platelet therapies, thrombolytics), and radiation therapies. In this context, therapeutic ultrasound could represent a novel diagnostic/therapeutic in the armamentarium of the surgeon to treat these diseases. Ultrasound relies on mechanical energy to induce numerous physical and biological effects. The application of this technology in neurology has been limited due to the challenges with penetrating the skull, thus limiting a prompt translation as has been seen in treating pathologies in other organs, such as breast and abdomen. Thanks to pivotal adjuncts such as multiconvergent transducers, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance, MRI thermometry, implantable transducers, and acoustic windows, focused ultrasound (FUS) is ready for prime-time applications in oncology and cerebrovascular neurology. In this review, we analyze the evolution of FUS from the beginning in 1950s to current state-of-the-art. We provide an overall picture of actual and future applications of FUS in oncology and cerebrovascular neurology reporting for each application the principal existing evidences.

Key Words

Neuro-oncology cerebrovascular neurology focused ultrasound therapeutic ultrasound neurosurgery 



The authors would like to thank the Focused Ultrasound Foundation for the support provided for both manuscript and figures. The authors also would like to acknowledge John Snell, PhD, for having developed and shared the images for fig. n. 2 from Kranion software (open source interactive transcranial focused ultrasound visualization system software).

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Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Previous Presentation

This paper has never been presented.

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Copyright information

© The American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Prada
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • M. Yashar S. Kalani
    • 2
  • Kaan Yagmurlu
    • 2
  • Pedro Norat
    • 2
  • Massimiliano Del Bene
    • 1
    • 4
  • Francesco DiMeco
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
  • Neal F. Kassell
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryFondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo BestaMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Neurological SurgeryUniversity of Virginia Health Science CenterCharlottesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Focused Ultrasound FoundationCharlottesvilleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Experimental OncologyIRCCS European Institute of OncologyMilanItaly
  5. 5.Department of Pathophysiology and TransplantationUniversity of MilanMilanItaly
  6. 6.Department of Neurological SurgeryJohns Hopkins Medical SchoolBaltimoreUSA

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