Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) compared with abdominal hysterectomy for treatment of uterine leiomyomas

Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Nov;34(5):572-8. doi: 10.1002/uog.7435.


Objectives: To compare women undergoing magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) to a group of contemporaneously recruited women undergoing total abdominal hysterectomy. Patient demographics, safety parameters, quality of life outcomes and disability measures are reported.

Methods: One hundred and nine women were recruited in seven centers for MRgFUS treatment and 83 women who underwent abdominal hysterectomy were recruited in seven separate centers to provide contemporaneous assessment of safety. The adverse-event profile and disability parameters were prospectively assessed. Patients were also screened at baseline and at 1, 3 and 6 months using the SF-36 health survey questionnaire.

Results: There were no life-threatening adverse events in either group. Overall, the number of significant clinical complications and adverse events was lower in women in the MRgFUS group compared to women undergoing hysterectomy. MRgFUS was associated with significantly faster recovery, including resumption of usual activities. At 6 months of follow-up, there were four (4%) treatment failures in the MRgFUS arm. Regarding SF-36 subscale scores, at 6 months there was improvement in all SF-36 subscales for both treatment groups. However, most of the SF-36 subscale scores were significantly better at this stage in the hysterectomy group than in the MRgFUS group. Women undergoing MRgFUS had steady improvement in all parameters throughout the 6-month follow-up period, despite the fact that they continued to have myomatous uteri and menstruation, which at baseline had given them significant symptomatology.

Conclusions: The results of this study show that MRgFUS treatment of uterine leiomyomas leads to clinical improvement with fewer significant clinical complications and adverse events compared to hysterectomy at 6 months' follow-up.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Female
  • High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / methods*
  • Hysterectomy / psychology
  • Leiomyoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Leiomyoma / surgery
  • Leiomyoma / therapy*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Interventional / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Interventional / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography
  • Uterine Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Uterine Neoplasms / surgery
  • Uterine Neoplasms / therapy*