MRgFUS Qualified Candidates and Screening Criteria

Research has found that women who respond best to MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS):

  • Have fibroids that are less than 10cm or have a volume less than 500cc (that is, no fibroid is larger than a grapefruit).
  • Have fibroids that appear dark and bright as they take up the contrast agent during MR imaging.
  • Do not have extreme claustrophobia; can handle the MRI with sedation.
  • Have a surgical history that does not prevent MR-guided ultrasound.

To be considered for MRgFUS, a patient must:

  1. Be age 18 or older.
  2. Have symptoms of fibroids in the uterus and not be seeking treatment for the reason of improving fertility. 
  3. Have given written informed consent.
  4. Be pre- or peri-menopausal (within 12 months of last menstrual period).
  5. Be able to communicate sensations during the procedure.
  6. Have one or more uterine fibroids that are positioned in the uterus such that they can be accessed without being shielded by the bowel or bone.
  7. Have a fibroid with appropriate characteristics (appear dark in imaging, homogenous enhancement, volume of fibroid <500cc).

Not everyone qualifies for MR-guided ultrasound. If you do not qualify, UCSF doctors will make suggestions to help you.

Alternatives to MRgFUS

Although focused ultrasound offers many advantages over other fibroid treatment options, it is not the best choice for everyone. In cases where MRgFUS may not be a viable option, uterine artery embolization (UAE) is another nonsurgical fibroid treatment. The UCSF Comprehensive Fibroid Center offers several other treatment alternatives.

In addition, the UCSF Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging is participating in a study to compare MRgFUS to the standard of care. More information is available.