Eligibility and accessibility of magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) for the treatment of uterine leiomyomas.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate patient eligibility and accessibility of magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) for women with symptomatic uterine leiomyomas who desire conservative therapy. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of 169 patients referred for minimally invasive treatment of leiomyomas between November 2007 and February 2009. Clinical eligibility for MRgFUS was determined by Food and Drug Administration-based treatment guidelines. All patients underwent pretreatment pelvic imaging to determine candidacy for the procedure. PATIENT(S): Premenopausal women with symptomatic uterine leiomyomas. SETTING: Academic medical center. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Eligibility for MRgFUS based on clinical and anatomic patient criteria. RESULT(S): Forty-seven percent of patients (80/169) were determined clinically eligible for the procedure. Of these, 16% of patients (27/169) were found to be eligible for MRgFUS based on imaging results. Overall, the main reasons for ineligibility were very large leiomyomas (8%; 14/169), cost (12%; 21/169), and desired fertility (14%; 23/169). An additional 48% of patients declined MRgFUS for unstated reasons, often after obtaining financial and insurance coverage information. CONCLUSION(S): Currently, many women with leiomyomas are unable to obtain MRgFUS treatment for multiple reasons, including uterine size, desire for fertility, and, most commonly, financial limitations. With increasing clinical experience, further research, and broadened insurance coverage, it may be possible to increase accessibility and expand eligibility criteria for this minimally invasive therapy.
Behera, MA; Leong, M; Johnson, L; Brown, H
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