Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Hyperthermia. 2015 May;31(3):233-9. doi: 10.3109/02656736.2015.1004134. Epub 2015 Mar 11.

Ultrasound guided high intensity focused ultrasound (USgHIFU) ablation for uterine fibroids: Do we need the microbubbles?

Author information

Unit of Interventional Radiology, European Institute of Oncology , Milan , Italy .



The aim of this study was to assess the safety and effectiveness of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) on ultrasound guided high intensity focused ultrasound (USgHIFU) ablation of uterine fibroids.


Thirty-three patients (37 fibroids) were randomly assigned to two groups: group A (17 patients, 20 fibroids) in which CEUS was used before, during and after HIFU treatment, and group B (16 patients, 17 fibroids) in which CEUS was not administered at all. Follow-up including contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a clinical questionnaire was performed, and technical success, ablation efficacy, volume reduction and complications were assessed.


Technical success was 100% in both groups. CEUS revealed residual enhancement in 40% of the patients in group A and the treatment was continued until the completion of ablation. MRI at 1 month after treatment revealed significant difference in the relative fibroid volume reduction rate between the two groups: 16.1% in group A versus 4.8%, in group B (p = 0.01). There was no statistically significant relative volume reduction rate for the results at 3, 6 and 12 months and no significant changes in the quality of life results or the complication rate.


CEUS was safe and effective in enhancing US guidance during HIFU ablation of uterine fibroids. Moreover, the use of CEUS during HIFU sonication increased the ablation efficacy, leading to a more relevant fibroid volume reduction at 1 and 3 months. This gap disappeared after 6 months, when there were no differences between the two groups of patients at MRI. However, in our experience, USgHIFU represented a very effective method for the treatment of uterine fibroids, and the use of CEUS during HIFU procedure reduced the treatment time and treatment repetitions for incomplete fibroid ablation.


Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS); ultrasound guided high intensity focused ultrasound (USgHIFU); uterine fibroids

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center