Vulvar Dystrophy

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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 treatment for non-neoplastic epithelial disorders of vulva, which is also referred to as vulvar dystrophy. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasonic energy precisely and accurately on targets in the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue.

There are many types of “non-neoplastic epithelial disorders of the vulva”, which is shortened to vulvar dystrophy. Two specific ones that have received significant focused ultrasound research are Lichen Sclerosus and Hypertrophy of the Vulva

How it Works
Where the beams converge, focused ultrasound produces precise ablation (thermal destruction of tissue) enabling vulvar dystrophy to be treated without surgery. Further research will likely be needed prior to widespread availability of this technique.

The primary options for treatment of vulvar dystrophy include medication and in some conditions surgery.

For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a noninvasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications and lower cost. It protects and maintains the physiological functions and structure of the cervix. Focused ultrasound treatment is also an easy, out-patient procedure with no scars and a low recurrence rate.

Clinical Trials

There is a clinical trial in Shandong, China for non-neoplastic epithelial disorders of vulva. 

See a full list of vulvar dystrophy clinical trials >

Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement

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

Notable Papers

Imseeh G, Giles SL, Taylor A, Brown MRD, Rivens I, Gordon-Williams R, Ter Haar G, deSouza NM. Feasibility of palliating recurrent gynecological tumors with MRGHIFU: comparison of symptom, quality-of-life, and imaging response in intra and extra-pelvic disease. Int J Hyperthermia. 2021;38(1):623-632. doi: 10.1080/02656736.2021.1904154.

Zhang L, Lai Y, Wan T, Zhou B, Qiang X, Ge S, Zhang K, Mao Z. A randomized clinical study of the treatment of white lesions of the vulva with a fractional ultrapulsed CO2 laser. Ann Palliat Med. 2020 Jul;9(4):2229-2236. doi: 10.21037/apm-20-1085.

Liu Y, Fan Y, Tang H, Li C. Therapeutic Effects of Focused Ultrasound on Expression of Notch1, C-Fos and Transforming Growth Factor-β3 in Vulvar Skin of SD Rats with Vulvar Lichen Simplex Chronicus. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2020 Jun 7:S0301-5629(20)30196-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2020.04.025.

Ruan L, Xie Z, Wang H, Jiang J, Shi H, Xu J. High-intensity focused ultrasound treatment for non-neoplastic epithelial disorders of the vulva. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2010 May;109(2):167-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2009.12.014. Epub 2010 Feb 13.

Sun X, Xue M, Deng X, Wan Y. Clinical factors analysis of curative effect of focused ultrasound treatment for non neoplastic epithelial disorders of vulva. Zhong Nan Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. 2010 Sep;35(9):933-9. doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1672-7347.2010.09.006.

Li C, Bian D, Chen W, Zhao C, Yin N, Wang Z. Focused ultrasound therapy of vulvar dystrophies: a feasibility study. Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Nov;104(5 Pt 1):915-21.

Li CZ, Wang ZB, Chen WZ, Bian DH, Cao YD, Zhao JW, Wen S, Tian YB, Li XJ. [Evaluation of white lesions of vulva treated with focused ultrasound]. Zhonghua Fu Chan Ke Za Zhi. 2004 Jun;39(6):373-7. Chinese.

Click here for additional references from PubMed.

Clinical Trials