Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is an early-stage, non-invasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with macular degeneration, and a number of other ocular diseases where microvessel accumulation is problematic. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets in the eye without damaging surrounding normal tissue. Using histotripsy on the targeted microvessels, the ultrasound is combined with low energy laser that together stimulate the destruction of the microvessels. While significant pre-clinical work has been accomplished, there is still much to be done before this technology will be widely available.
The primary options for treatment of macular degeneration include other combinations of medication and light, which have a higher risk for side effects.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a non-invasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications and lower cost.
- Focused ultrasound can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue.
- It can be repeated, if necessary.
At the present time, there are no clinical trials recruiting patients for focused ultrasound treatment of macular degeneration.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for macular degeneration. is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
Zhang H, Xie X, Li J, Qin Y, Zhang W, Cheng Q, Yuan S, Liu Q, Paulus YM, Wang X, Yang X. Removal of choroidal vasculature using concurrently appliedultrasound bursts and nanosecond laser pulses. Sci Rep. 2018 Aug 27;8(1):12848. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-31045-w.
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