Researchers at Weill
College in New York, NY
have revealed that uterine fibroids can now be treated by 3T MR-guided focused
ultrasound (MRgFUS), which is safe, non-invasive and effective.
"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
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.