Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is an early-stage, noninvasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with liver fibrosis. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets deep in the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue.
How it Works
Where the beams converge, focused ultrasound produces two therapeutic effects that are being evaluated. One mechanism is precise ablation (thermal destruction of tissue). A second mechanism is to use focused ultrasound to enhance the delivery of genetic therapy to treat liver fibrosis. This technique was successful in preclinical studies but has not yet been translated to the clinic.
The primary options for treatment of liver fibrosis include medication and may eventually include liver transplantation.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a noninvasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications – such as surgical wound healing or infection – at a lower cost. It can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue and is repeatable, if necessary.
At the present time, there are no clinical trials recruiting patients for focused ultrasound treatment of liver fibrosis.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for liver fibrosis is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
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