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 acute kidney injury. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets in the kidney, and can enable improved homing of mesenchymal stem cells to the injured kidney. Preclinical results show improved renal cell survival compared to controls. While early work is promising, there is still much to be done before this technology will be widely available.
The primary options for treatment of acute kidney injury include medication, dialysis and potentially 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 treatment of acute kidney injury.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for acute kidney injury is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
Burks SR, Nagle ME, Bresler MN, Kim SJ, Star RA, Frank JA. Mesenchymal stromal cell potency to treat acute kidney injury increased by ultrasound-activated interferon-γ/interleukin-10 axis. J Cell Mol Med. 2018 Dec;22(12):6015-6025. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.13874. Epub 2018 Sep 14.
Fischer K, Meral FC, Zhang Y, Vangel MG, Jolesz FA, Ichimura T, Bonventre JV. High-resolution renal perfusion mapping using contrast-enhanced ultrasonography in ischemia-reperfusion injury monitors changes in renal microperfusion. Kidney Int. 2016 Jun;89(6):1388-98. doi: 10.1016/j.kint.2016.02.004.
Burks SR, Nguyen BA, Tebebi PA, Kim SJ, Bresler MN, Ziadloo A, Street JM, Yuen PS, Star RA, Frank JA. Pulsed focused ultrasound pretreatment improves mesenchymal stromal cell efficacy in preventing and rescuing established acute kidney injury in mice. Stem Cells. 2015 Apr;33(4):1241-53. doi: 10.1002/stem.1965.
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