Thyroid Nodules

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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 thyroid nodules. 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 thyroid nodules to be treated without surgery.

The primary options for treatment of thyroid nodules include medication and invasive surgery.

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.

Clinical Trials

At the present time, there are no clinical trials recruiting patients for focused treatment of thyroid nodules.

See a full list of thyroid nodule clinical trials > 

See a list of treatment sites >
See a list of laboratory research sites >

Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement

The Echopulse system manufactured by Theraclion is approved in Europe, Russia and Korea for treating thyroid nodules. Some European insurance companies are paying for focused ultrasound treatment of thyroid nodules.

Notable Papers

Vorländer C, Fischer A, Korkusuz H. Effects of Regional and General Anesthesia on the Therapeutic Outcome of Benign Thyroid Nodules Treated with High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). World J Surg. 2022 May;46(5):1076-1081. doi: 10.1007/s00268-022-06447-7. Epub 2022 Jan 24.

Kuo JH, Sinclair CF, Lang B, Spiezia S, Yu M, Ha EJ, Na DG, Offi C, Patel KN, Baek JH. A comprehensive review of interventional ablation techniques for the management of thyroid nodules and metastatic lymph nodes. Surgery. 2022 Apr;171(4):920-931. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2021.07.043. Epub 2021 Nov 12.

Cheong CWS, Au JXY, Lim MY, Fu EW, Li H, Gan JY. The efficacy and safety of high-intensity focused ultrasound in the treatment of benign thyroid nodules: A systematic review and meta-analysis from 1990 to 2021. Ann Acad Med Singap. 2022 Feb;51(2):101-108.

Fischer A, Korkusuz H, Vorländer C. Erratum: Effectiveness of High-intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) Therapy of Solid and Complex Benign Thyroid Nodules – A Long-term Follow up Two-center Study. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2022 Feb 14. doi: 10.1055/a-1751-1953.

Ben Hamou A, Monpeyssen H. Horner’s Syndrome During High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation for a Benign Thyroid Nodule. AACE Clin Case Rep. 2021 Jan 7;7(3):164-168. doi: 10.1016/j.aace.2020.11.035. eCollection 2021 May-Jun.

Monpeyssen H, Ben Hamou A, Hegedüs L, Ghanassia É, Juttet P, Persichetti A, Bizzarri G, Bianchini A, Guglielmi R, Raggiunti B, Alamri A, Machuron F, Taverna D, Barbaro D, Papini E. High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) therapy for benign thyroid nodules: a 3-year retrospective multicenter follow-up study. Int J Hyperthermia. 2020;37(1):1301-1309. doi: 10.1080/02656736.2020.1846795.

Lang BHH, Woo YC, Chiu KW. Combining high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) ablation with percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) in the treatment of benign thyroid nodules. Eur Radiol. 2020 Sep 24. doi: 10.1007/s00330-020-07317-3.

Cheng Z, Liang P. Advances in ultrasound-guided thermal ablation for symptomatic benign thyroid nodules. Adv Clin Exp Med. 2020 Sep;29(9):1123-1129. doi: 10.17219/acem/125433.

Negro R, Trimboli P. Thermal ablation for benign, non-functioning thyroid nodules: A clinical review focused on outcomes, technical remarks, and comparisons with surgery. Electromagn Biol Med. 2020 Aug 17:1-9. doi: 10.1080/15368378.2020.1809448.

Spartalis E, Karagiannis SP, Plakopitis N, Theodori MA, Chrysikos D, Paschou SA, Boutzios G, Schizas D, Spartalis M, Troupis T, Nikiteas N. Single-session high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) ablation for benign thyroid nodules: a systematic review. Expert Rev Med Devices. 2020 Aug 18:1-13. doi: 10.1080/17434440.2020.1806053.

Lang BHH, Woo YC, Chiu KW. Identifying predictive factors for efficacy in high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) ablation of benign thyroid nodules – a retrospective analysis. Int J Hyperthermia. 2020;37(1):324-331. doi: 10.1080/02656736.2020.1747646.

Chung SR, Baek JH, Suh CH, Choi YJ, Lee JH. Efficacy and safety of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for treating benign thyroid nodules: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Acta Radiol. 2020 Mar 22:284185120909339. doi: 10.1177/0284185120909339.

Tumino D, Grani G, Di Stefano M, Di Mauro M, Scutari M, Rago T, Fugazzola L, Castagna MG, Maino F. Nodular Thyroid Disease in the Era of Precision Medicine. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2020 Jan 23;10:907. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2019.00907. eCollection 2019.

Trimboli P, Pelloni F, Bini F, Marinozzi F, Giovanella L. High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for benign thyroid nodules: 2-year follow-up results. Endocrine. 2019 Mar 28. doi: 10.1007/s12020-019-01909-w.

Lang BHH, Woo YC, Chiu KW. Effect of perithyroidal lignocaine infusion (PLI) to pain experienced during high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) ablation of benign thyroid nodules. Eur Radiol. 2019 Mar 27. doi: 10.1007/s00330-019-06160-5.

Prakash PS, Oh HB, Tan WB, Parameswaran R, Ngiam KY. The Efficacy and Safety of High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound(HIFU) Therapy for Benign Thyroid Nodules-A Single Center Experience from Singapore. World J Surg. 2019 Mar 12. doi: 10.1007/s00268-019-04976-2.

Click here for additional references from PubMed.

International Approval
Clinical Trials