European Radiology

, Volume 23, Issue 11, pp 3054–3061 | Cite as

Mid-term clinical efficacy of a volumetric magnetic resonance-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound technique for treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids

  • Marlijne E. Ikink
  • Marianne J. Voogt
  • Helena M. Verkooijen
  • Paul N. M. Lohle
  • Karlijn J. Schweitzer
  • Arie Franx
  • Willem P. Th. M. Mali
  • Lambertus W. Bartels
  • Maurice A. A. J. van den Bosch



To assess the mid-term efficacy of magnetic resonance-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (MR-HIFU) using a volumetric ablation technique for treating uterine fibroids.


Forty-six premenopausal women with 58 symptomatic uterine fibroids were prospectively included for MR-HIFU. After treatment, CE-MRI allowed measurement of the non-perfused volume (NPV) ratio, defined as the non-enhancing part of the fibroid divided by fibroid volume. Clinical symptoms and fibroid size on T2W-MRI were quantified at 3 and 6 months’ follow-up. The primary endpoint was a clinically relevant improvement in the transformed Symptom Severity Score (tSSS) of the Uterine Fibroid Symptom and Quality of Life questionnaire, defined as a 10-point reduction.


Volumetric ablation resulted in a mean NPV ratio of 0.40 ± 0.22, with a mean NPV of 141 ± 135 cm3. Mean fibroid volume was 353 ± 269 cm3 at baseline, which decreased to 271 ± 225 cm3 at 6 months (P < 0.001), corresponding to a mean volume reduction of 29 % ± 20 %. Clinical follow-up showed that 54 % (25/46) of the patients reported a more than 10-point reduction in the tSSS. Mean tSSS improved from 50.9 ± 18.4 at baseline to 34.7 ± 20.2 after 6 months (P < 0.001).


Volumetric MR-HIFU is effective for patients with symptomatic uterine fibroids. At 6 months, significant symptom improvement was observed in 54 % of patients.

Key Points

Volumetric MR-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound is a novel ablation technique for leiomyomatosis.

We prospectively evaluated the outcome of volumetric MR-HIFU ablation for symptomatic fibroids.

This study showed that volumetric MR-HIFU results in an effective treatment.

A randomised controlled trial would set this technique in an appropriate context.


Ablation High-intensity focused ultrasound ablation Magnetic resonance imaging Fibroid Treatment outcome 



We would like to thank the technicians of the Department of Radiology for their help during the treatment procedure, in particular Niels Blanken, Greet Bouwman, Jørgen H. Mensinga, and Laura J.L. Gortzak-Mol. Further, we would like to thank Karin A. van Rijnbach, photography UMC Utrecht, for providing Fig. 1.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marlijne E. Ikink
    • 1
  • Marianne J. Voogt
    • 1
  • Helena M. Verkooijen
    • 1
  • Paul N. M. Lohle
    • 2
  • Karlijn J. Schweitzer
    • 3
  • Arie Franx
    • 3
  • Willem P. Th. M. Mali
    • 1
  • Lambertus W. Bartels
    • 4
  • Maurice A. A. J. van den Bosch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of RadiologySt. Elisabeth Hospital TilburgTilburgThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of GynaecologyUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Image Sciences InstituteUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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