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New Uterine Fibroid Treatment Shows Promise

Ultrasound technique disrupts growths' blood supply

THURSDAY, Aug. 9, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- A noninvasive, outpatient technique called MRI-guided focused ultrasound surgery (MRgFUS) provides long-term symptom relief for women with benign uterine fibroid tumors and improves their quality of life, a new study finds.

The Mayo Clinic-led study of 359 women also found that the more completely these uterine tumors are destroyed by MRgFUS, the longer the duration of symptom relief.

The study, which also involved researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, is published in the Aug. 1 issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

"Up to one-third of women who undergo alternatives to hysterectomy to treat fibroids experience recurrence of fibroids, so demonstrating the durability of focused ultrasound is important," lead author Dr. Elizabeth Stewart, a Mayo Clinic reproductive endocrinologist, said in a prepared statement.

"Our study does this by examining rates of subsequent surgery for fibroid tumor symptoms and other key outcomes such as uterine shrinkage. Finally, our study demonstrates that the more completely you treat the fibroids, the better the outcomes are," Stewart said.

The study was funded by Insightec Ltd. of Israel.

The use of MRgFUS for outpatient treatment of fibroid uterine tumors was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2004. MRgFUS uses high-energy sound waves that travel through the abdominal wall and coagulate the blood supply of targeted fibroid tissues.

More information

The U.S. National Women's Health Information Center has more about uterine fibroids.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic, news release, July 31, 2007
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