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Korean J Radiol. 2018 Jul-Aug;19(4):724-732. doi: 10.3348/kjr.2018.19.4.724. Epub 2018 Jun 14.

Efficacy, Efficiency, and Safety of Magnetic Resonance-Guided High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound for Ablation of Uterine Fibroids: Comparison with Ultrasound-Guided Method.

Author information

The Institute of Ultrasound Engineering in Medicine, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China.
Department of Imaging and Interventional Radiology, Zhongshan-Xuhui Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai 200031, China.



The purpose of this study was to compare efficacy, sonication energy efficiency, treatment time and safety of magnetic resonance-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (MRgHIFU) and those of ultrasound-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (USgHIFU) for ablation of uterine fibroids.

Materials and Methods:

This study included 43 patients with 44 symptomatic uterine fibroids treated with MRgHIFU and 51 patients with 68 symptomatic uterine fibroids treated with USgHIFU. After therapy, contrast-enhanced MRI was conducted and complete ablation was defined as 100% non-perfused volume (NPV) of fibroids. Patients with completely ablated fibroids were selected for the comparison of the treatment data and sonication parameters between MRgHIFU and USgHIFU treated groups.


Thirteen completely ablated fibroids in 10 patients (23.3%, 10/43) were achieved with MRgHIFU and 28 completely ablated fibroids in 22 patients (43.1%, 22/51) were achieved with USgHIFU. In completely ablated fibroids, the energy-efficiency factor (EEF) was 5.1 ± 3.0 J/mm3 and 4.7 ± 2.5 J/mm3 in the MRgHIFU and USgHIFU, respectively (p = 0.165). There was a negative linear correlation between EEF and the NPV of fibroids for MRgHIFU (p = 0.016) and USgHIFU (p = 0.001). The mean treatment time was 174.5 ± 42.2 minutes and 114.4 ± 39.2 minutes in the MRgHIFU and USgHIFU procedures, respectively (p = 0.021). There were no severe adverse events and major complications after treatment.


MRgHIFU and USgHIFU are safe and effective with the equivalent energy efficiency for complete ablation of fibroids. USgHIFU has shorter treatment time than MRgHIFU.


High-intensity focused ultrasound ablation; MR imaging; Ultrasound; Uterine fibroids

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