Factors associated with headache and nausea during magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound for tremor
Background During magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound for essential or parkinsonian tremor, adverse events (headache, nausea/vomiting, or anxiety) may alter the outcome of the procedure despite being mostly transient and mild. Objectives Our aim was to analyze the relationship between demographic, procedural, and anesthetic characteristics with magnetic resonance/ultrasound-related events. Methods This was a retrospective study at the Clinica Universidad de Navarra of patients undergoing thalamotomy with magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound between September 2018 and October 2019. The anesthesia protocol included headache and nausea/vomiting prophylaxis and rescue therapy. Dexmedetomidine was used for anxiolysis in some patients after thorough multidisciplinary assessment. Results A total of 123 patients were included. Headache was directly related to skull density ratio (P < 0.001) and skull thickness (P = 0.02). Patients with a skull density ratio less than 0.48 had 3 times the odds of experiencing moderate or severe headache (odds ratio [OR], 3.08; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.21-7.82) and had a higher odds of aborting sonication due to pain. Sex was associated with increased nausea (P = 0.007). Women had 4 times the odds of nausea than men (OR, 4.4; 95% CI, 1.61-12.11). Dexmedetomidine did not reduce headache or nausea incidence. Patients who received dexmedetomidine had a higher number (P = 0.01) and total minutes of sonication (P = 0.01). Conclusions Patients with lower skull density ratios and higher skull thicknesses could benefit from an aggressive analgesic prophylaxis. Women are more likely to experience nausea. Dexmedetomidine did not reduce headache and nausea, but increased the number and duration of sonications. Its exact effect on tremor is still unclear.