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MRgFUS Technology

The therapy system through Magnetic Resonance guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery (MRgFUS) allows a medical-surgical treatment as little invasive as possible, extremely precise and efficient.

The Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute is provided with the avant-garde system ExAblate 2100 (InSightec Ltd), implemented by the leader company in such technology and by the most experienced group of researchers in the field.

The technology derives from the combination of two sophisticated techniques:

  • one for treatment (Focused Ultrasounds - FUS, or HIFU),
  • the other for diagnosis and guidance (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).

The FUS instrument utilizes focused ultrasounds at high-intensity energy to induce an increase in the temperature of pathological tissues (to be “burned”, ablated), resulting in their destruction. Acoustic waves propagate through the tissue, and part of them is absorbed and converted into heat. Through the focalization of ultrasound beams, a very small target can be reached in the depth of the tissues (in the order of millimeters). The ablation of the pathological tissues occurs depending on both the temperature reached by the tissue and the length of exposition (“thermic dose”). This process is similar to the phenomenon occurring, in the field of electromagnetic waves, when the sunrays focused through a magnifying glass heat an object and ignite a flame.

The technology combines high-intensity focused ultrasounds, heating and destroying the target tissue with a reduced invasiveness, with the magnetic resonance imaging, which reproduces the patient’s anatomy, allowing an accurate planning of the treatment and a continuous monitoring of the effects produced on the tissues. The treatment occurs without surgical incisions or punctures on the cutis, which remains whole.

Focused ultrasounds have been applied to several pathologies, with promising results in terms of efficacy and safety. Presently, this technology of treatment sees a progressive development and finds an application in numerous clinical fields. The musculoskeletal field is among the most consolidated.