- Conference date: 30 August-2 September 2006
- Location: Oxford (United Kingdom)
OBJECTIVE: Thyroid nodules are common and can only be removed by surgery. High‐intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) could be a possible minimally invasive alternative treatment. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of using HIFU to precisely ablate thyroid nodules without affecting neighbouring structures. METHODS: HIFU was generated by a 3‐MHz spherical piezocomposite transducer moved across the target in a stepwise fashion. In a first clinical study 25 patients had their nodules treated with HIFU 2 weeks prior to planned thyroidectomy, using increasing energy. The last patients received a local anesthesia. The lesions were assessed by the pathologist. RESULTS: The histological lesions were clearly visible in most of the fully treated patients, particularly those who received higher energy. Superficial and reversible skin blisters were observed in 7 patients. The design of the treatment head was subsequently modified to eliminate such risk. CONCLUSION: The patient trials confirmed the precision of the targeting and set the energy levels for safe thyroid nodule ablation with HIFU. Further study is needed to assess nodule’s changes at longer follow‐up.
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