Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is a rapidly evolving, noninvasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with hypersplenism. 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 precise ablation (thermal destruction of tissue) enabling hypersplenism to be treated without surgery. Initial reports have shown that treatment can result in improvements in pancytopenia and also reduction in gingival bleeding and epistaxis.
The primary options for treatment of hypersplenism include medications or surgery.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a noninvasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications – such as infection, blood loss, or scarring – at a lower cost. It also involves a shorter recovery time and can be repeatable, if necessary.
At the present time, there are no clinical trials recruiting patients for focused ultrasound treatment of hypersplenism.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for hypersplenism is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
Zhu J, Chen X, Hu X, Zhu H, He C. A Comparative Study of Surgical Splenectomy, Partial Splenic Embolization, and High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound for Hypersplenism. J Ultrasound Med. 2016 Mar;35(3):467-74. doi: 10.7863/ultra.15.03050. Epub 2016
Zhu J, Zhu H, Mei Z, Zhang L, Jin C, Ran L, Zhou K, Yang W. High-intensity focused ultrasound ablation: an effective and safe treatment for secondary hypersplenism. Br J Radiol. 2014 Nov;87(1043):20140374. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20140374. Epub 2014 Aug 20.
Zhu J, Zhu H, Mei Z, Jin C, Ran L, Zhou K, Yang W, Zhang L, She C. High-intensity focused ultrasound ablation for treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and hypersplenism: preliminary study. J Ultrasound Med. 2013 Oct;32(10):1855-62. doi: 10.7863/ultra.32.10.1855.
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