Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound for Monitoring Non-surgical Treatments of Uterine Fibroids: A Systematic Review

Ultrasound Med Biol. 2021 Jan;47(1):3-18. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2020.09.016. Epub 2020 Oct 22.


Non-surgical treatment options for uterine fibroids are uterine artery embolization (UAE), high-intensity focused ultrasound ablation (HIFUA), and percutaneous microwave ablation (PMWA). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the reference standard imaging method before and after these procedures. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) has been studied as an alternative to MRI for evaluating the fibroids' characteristics and responses to non-surgical treatments. PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE and Scopus databases were searched for literature published from January 2000 through June 7, 2020, that investigated the application of CEUS as an adjunct to monitor UAE, HIFUA or PMWA in human uterine fibroid treatments. Two independent reviewers analyzed 128 publications, out of which 17 were included. Based on this systematic review, CEUS provides detailed data about fibroid volume and vascularization prior, during and post UAE, and it helps determine the endpoint of the procedure. HIFUA with intra-procedural CEUS has faster volume shrinkage over a shorter time period with less needed energy and provides early detection of residual tissue after HIFUA. CEUS and contrast-enhanced MRI have sufficient agreement to be used interchangeably in the clinic to evaluate the therapeutic effect of PMWA and HIFUA on fibroids.

Keywords: Contrast-enhanced ultrasound; High-intensity focused ultrasound ablation; Percutaneous microwave ablation; Uterine artery embolization; Uterine fibroid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leiomyoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Leiomyoma / therapy*
  • Ultrasonography / methods
  • Uterine Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*


  • Contrast Media