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Jennifer Edelman

Fellow – Jennifer Edelman

Mentor – Fred Clubb

Project – Application of MRI Guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) Therapy in Treatment of Uterine Leiomyomata

Uterine leiomyoma, a benign smooth muscle tumor of the uterus, affects 35 million women in the United States and can develop into a devastating condition. Current therapies, such as pharmaceuticals, hormonal treatment or partial myomectomy, have high incidence of recurrence and infertility. The present cure for severe uterine leiomyomata is complete hysterectomy, yet this also has adverse effects due to loss of uterine hormone production. A novel, non-invasive treatment called high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) has the potential to reduce complications that occur with current therapies. This treatment is guided by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to deliver focused heat to the target region. Currently, HIFU is approved for small tissue volumes. The purpose of this study is to determine the feasibility of a protocol for treating a larger volume of tissue with more precision We hypothesize that this MRgFUS technique provides a more efficient method for treating large volume leiomyomata and that tissue necrosis can be accurately controlled with MRgFUS. To test this hypothesis, MRI is used to obtain images of porcine skeletal muscle in which targeted thermal lesions of varying size are generating using HIFU techniques. Real time MRI monitors temperature changes. Gross and histological sections of the lesions are analyzed, qualitatively and quantitatively, and these data compared with MRI data and predicted values. The results of this study show the applicability of MRgFUS in accurately delivering defined thermal damage. Data from this study will be used to design a more precise, effective, non-invasive treatment for severe uterine leiomyomata.