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 atherosclerosis. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets deep in the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue. Where the beams converge, the ultrasound produces a variety of biological effects enabling atherosclerosis to be treated without surgery. Mechanical fractionation of atherosclerotic plaques or ultrasound-enhanced delivery of drugs to treat the disease are being investigated as potential new therapies.
The primary options for treatment of atherosclerosis include medication, minimally invasive procedures and major surgery.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a noninvasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications and lower cost.
- Focused ultrasound is noninvasive, so it does not carry added concerns like surgical wound healing or infection.
- Focused ultrasound can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue.
- It can be repeated, if necessary.
There is a clinical trial that is looking at treatment of atherosclerosis in peripheral arteries. It involves using stem cells alone or in combination with focused ultrasound.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for atherosclerosis is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
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