The treatment of uterine fibroids with 3T MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is safe, non-invasive and effective, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, NY.
Approximately 25% of women in the United States have clinically symptomatic fibroids, and treatment has most commonly been surgical with hysterectomy or myomectomy. However, in the past decade, new options have been developed in radiology, includingnon-invasive MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) and minimally invasive uterine artery embolization (UAE) to treat these patients, said Elizabeth K. Arleo, MD, lead author of the study along with Robert J. Min, MD, MBA, chairman of radiology at Weill Cornell Medical College.
The study evaluated 20 patients who had symptomatic leiomyomas and were treated with 3T MRgFUS. These patients had a pelvic MRI and completed a symptom severity score (SSS) of the uterine fibroid symptom and health related quality of life prior to the procedure and at 6 and 12 months after the procedure.
According to the study, at 6 month follow-up, there was a decrease in SSS (ranging between 10-59%), treated fibroid volume, and total uterine volume. At 12 month follow-up, there was a persistent decrease in SSS (ranging between 15-62%), treated myoma volume, and total uterine volume.
In contrast to having major abdominal surgery with possible removal of their uterus, a patient can have a safe and effective, totally noninvasive procedure in an outpatient setting without the risks of general anesthesia, no ionizing radiation and a much shorter recovery period, said Dr. Arleo. Patients have returned to work as early as one day after MRgFUS, instead of approximately three days after UAE or six weeks after a myomectomy or hysterectomy, she said.
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American Roentgen Ray Society