European Radiology

, Volume 17, Issue 10, pp 2505–2511 | Cite as

Thermal ablation of uterine fibroids using MR-guided focused ultrasound-a truly non-invasive treatment modality

  • Alexander Chapman
  • Gail ter Haar


Uterine fibroids are a significant source of morbidity for women of reproductive age. Definitive treatment has traditionally been a hysterectomy, but increasingly women are not prepared to undergo such an invasive procedure for a benign and usually self-limiting condition. Although a number of minimally invasive techniques are now available, focused ultrasound has a considerable advantage over them as it is completely non-invasive and does not require an anaesthetic. Improvements in imaging techniques, particularly magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have enabled the accurate planning, targeting and monitoring of treatments. We review the early experience of focused ultrasound surgery for the treatment of fibroids, and, in particular, the results of the recent phase I, II and III multi-centre clinical trials. These trials and other studies which demonstrate that MR-guided focused ultrasound ablation is feasible, safe and appears to have an efficacy that is comparable with other treatment modalities are described. This technique has the advantages of being non-invasive and being deliverable as an out-patient procedure.


Focused ultrasound Fibroids Leiomyoma HIFU MR- guided Ablation 



The following individuals provided the images used in this work: W.M. Gedroyc (St Mary’s Hospital, London) and P. Wragg (Insightec).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Joint Department of PhysicsThe Royal Marsden Hospital: Institute of Cancer ResearchSurreyUK
  2. 2.Department of UrologyThe Royal Marsden Hospital: Institute of Cancer ResearchSurreyUK

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