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Br J Radiol. 2014 Nov;87(1043):20140374. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20140374. Epub 2014 Aug 20.

High-intensity focused ultrasound ablation: an effective and safe treatment for secondary hypersplenism.

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1 State Key Laboratory of Ultrasound Engineering in Medicine Co-founded by Chongqing and the Ministry of Science and Technology, Chongqing Key Laboratory of Ultrasound in Medicine and Engineering, College of Biomedical Engineering, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China.



Hypersplenism is a common disease. The conventional treatment is splenectomy and partial splenic embolization; however, both of them have high complication rates and technical defects. Therefore, safer and more effective techniques should be considered for the treatment of hypersplenism. High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) may provide an effective and safe way for treatment of hypersplenism. Therefore, we conducted this study to assess the safety and efficacy of HIFU in treatment of secondary hypersplenism.


A total of 28 patients who suffered from secondary hypersplenism were treated with HIFU ablation. All patients who underwent HIFU were closely followed-up over a year. MRI scan was performed, and the spleens were observed. Blood counts and liver function tests were also carried out.


In the follow-up process, the levels of white blood cells and platelets in the blood after HIFU were significantly higher than those before HIFU, liver function also improved after HIFU treatment. In addition, the symptoms were ameliorated significantly or even disappeared. The MRI showed that the ablation area had turned into a non-perfused volume, and after 12 months of HIFU ablation, the ablated area shrank evidently; the sunken spleen formed a lobulated shape and the splenic volume decreased.


HIFU ablation is a safe, effective and non-invasive approach for secondary hypersplenism.


For the first time we used HIFU ablation to treat secondary hypersplenism. It not only expands indications of HIFU but also provides better choice for the treatment of secondary hypersplenism.

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