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Focused Ultrasound Therapy

Focused ultrasound is a noninvasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with sacroiliitis. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets in the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue. 

How it Works
Where the beams converge, the ultrasound produces precise ablation of nerve tissue that supplies the inflamed sacroiliac joints, alleviating the pain caused by sacroiliitis.

The primary options for treatment of sacroiliitis include medication (both over the counter and prescription pain relievers), physical therapy, joint injections, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and invasive surgery.

For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a noninvasive alternative to RFA or 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.

Clinical Trials

A clinical trial using focused ultrasound to treat patients with sacroiliitis has begun in Israel. 

Regulatory Approvals and Reimbursement

Focused ultrasound treatment for sacroiliitis is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.

Notable Papers

Najafi A., Sartoretti E., Binkert CA. Sacroiliac Joint Ablation Using MR-HIFU. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol (2019) 42:1363–1365

Kaye EA, Maybody M, Monette S, Solomon SB, Gulati A. Ablation of the sacroiliac joint using MR-guided high intensity focused ultrasound: a preliminary experiment in a swine model. J Ther Ultrasound. 2017 Jun 26;5:17. doi: 10.1186/s40349-017-0095-x.

Scipione R, Anzidei M, Bazzocchi A, Gagliardo C, Catalano C, Napoli A. HIFU for Bone Metastases and other Musculoskeletal Applications. Semin Intervent Radiol. 2018 Oct;35(4):261-267. doi: 10.1055/s-0038-1673363. Epub 2018 Nov 5. Review.

Kaye EA, Monette S, Srimathveeravalli G, Maybody M, Solomon SB, Gulati A. MRI-guided focused ultrasound ablation of lumbar medial branch nerve: Feasibility and safety study in a swine model. Int J Hyperthermia. 2016 Nov;32(7):786-94. doi: 10.1080/02656736.2016.1197972. Epub 2016 Jul 21.

Click here for additional references from PubMed.

Clinical Trials