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 congestive heart failure (CHF). 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 precise ablation (thermal destruction of tissue) enabling CHF to be treated without surgery.
One early, preclinical project is looking at the period after an infarction and uses focused ultrasound to shrink the size of the infarcted region. The goal is to achieve the right amount of tissue reduction to offset the post-myocardial tissue expansion that is typically seen. A recent publication showed a decrease in tissue strain in the affected region. Additional research will likely be needed prior to clinical trials.
The primary options for treatment of CHF include medication but may also include invasive 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.
At the present time, there are no clinical trials recruiting patients for focused ultrasound CHF treatments.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for CHF is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
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