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BACKGROUND: High-intensity focussed ultrasound (HIFU) is a non-invasive ablative technique utilising the application of high frequency ultrasound (US) pressure waves to cause tissue necrosis. This emerging technology is currently limited by prolonged treatment times. The aim of the HIFU-F trial was to perform circumferential HIFU treatment as a means of shortening treatment times. METHODS: A prospective trial was set up to treat 50 consecutive patients ≥18 years of age. Eligible patients possessed symptomatic fibroadenomata, visible on US. Patients ≥25 years of age required histological confirmation of the diagnosis. Primary outcome measures were reduction in treatment time, reduction in volume on US after 12 months and complication rates. RESULTS: HIFU treatment was performed in 51 patients (53 treatments) with a mean age of 29.8 years (SD 7.2 years) and a diameter of 2.6 cm (SD 1.4 cm). Circumferential ablation reduced treatment times by an estimated 19.9 min (SD 25.1 min), which is a 29.4% (SD 15.2%) reduction compared with whole lesion ablation. Volume reduction of 43.2% (SD 35.4%; p < 0.005, paired t-test) was observed on US at 12 months post-treatment. Local complications completely resolved at 1 month apart from skin hyper-pigmentation, which persisted in nine cases at three months, six cases at 6 months and six at 12 months. CONCLUSION: Circumferential HIFU treatment for breast fibroadenomata is feasible to reduce both lesion size and treatment time. HIFU is a non-invasive alternative technique for the treatment of breast fibroadenomata. ISRCTN registration: 76622747.

Original publication




Journal article


Int j hyperthermia

Publication Date





1002 - 1009


High-intensity focussed ultrasound (HIFU), ablative technique, breast fibroadenomata (FAD), minimally invasive surgery, ultrasound, Adult, Female, Fibroadenoma, High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation, Humans, Prospective Studies, Treatment Outcome