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 lichen sclerosus. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets in the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue. See also “Vulvar Dystrophy.”
How it Works
Where the beams converge, focused ultrasound produces precise ablation (thermal destruction of tissue) enabling lichen sclerosus to be treated without surgery.
The primary options for treatment of lichen sclerosus include medication and sometimes 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. Focused ultrasound can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue and can also be repeated, if necessary.
There is a clinical trial in Shandong, China, for non-neoplastic epithelial disorders of vulva.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
This treatment has been approved by the NMPA in China. Focused ultrasound treatment for lichen sclerosus is not yet approved by other regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
Li L, He S, Jiang J. Comparison of efficacy and safety of high-intensity focused ultrasound at different powers for patients with vulvar lichen simplex chronicus. Int J Hyperthermia. 2021;38(1):781-785. doi: 10.1080/02656736.2021.1926561.
Krapf JM, Mitchell L, Holton MA, Goldstein AT. Vulvar Lichen Sclerosus: Current Perspectives. Int J Womens Health. 2020 Jan 15;12:11-20. doi: 10.2147/IJWH.S191200. eCollection 2020.
Ye M, Deng X, Mao S, Xue M. High intensity focused ultrasound treatment for non-neoplastic epithelial disorders of the vulva: Factors affecting effectiveness and recurrence. Int J Hyperthermia. 2015;31(7):771-6. doi: 10.3109/02656736.2015.1053101. Epub 2015 Sep 14.
Liming Ruan, Zhenwei Xie , Huiyun Wang, Jingyi Jiang , Haiyan Shi , Jian Xu. High‐intensity focused ultrasound treatment for non‐neoplastic epithelial disorders of the vulva. Intl J of gyn/OB. First published: 13 February 2010 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijgo.2009.12.014
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