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Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Jul;108(1):49-54.

Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone and magnetic-resonance-guided ultrasound surgery for uterine leiomyomata.

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  • 1Academic Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Department of Radiology, Imperial College London at St. Mary's Hospital, London, United Kingdom.



Magnetic-resonance-guided focused ultrasound is a novel, noninvasive technique of thermoablation for uterine leiomyomata. The hypothesis of this study was that pretreatment of leiomyomata with gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists would allow effective treatment of larger uterine leiomyomata, increasing the number of women who could benefit from this technique.


We report a prospective study of women with leiomyomata in excess of 10 cm in diameter who received GnRH agonist before magnetic-resonance-guided focused ultrasound treatment. Eligible participants were recruited from the gynecology outpatient clinics. Entry criteria were a minimal leiomyoma symptom severity score and confirmation of uterine dimensions based on screening magnetic resonance imaging. These women received a 3-month course of GnRH agonists followed by magnetic-resonance-guided focused ultrasound treatment. The primary outcome measurement was reported change in symptom severity score as judged by the Uterine Fibroid Symptom and Quality of Life questionnaire. Comparison was made at enrollment, treatment, and at 3, 6, and 12 months posttreatment. A secondary outcome was the measured change in target leiomyoma volume.


Forty-nine women were enrolled in the study. There was a 45% reduction in median symptom severity score at 6 months and 48% at 12 months posttreatment, with 83% of women achieving at least a 10-point reduction in symptom scoring at 6 months and 89% at 12 months (P < .001). There was an average reduction in target leiomyoma volume of 21% overall at 6 months (P < .001) and 37% at 12 months (P < .001). No serious infective complications or emergency operative interventions were recorded.


The use of GnRH agonist therapy before magnetic-resonance-guided focused ultrasound improves the thermoablative treatment effect.



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