The probe does not enter the body but sits on the surface of the neck over the nodule.
At ETA, Roussanka Kovatcheva, M.D., Professor of Endocrinology at the University Hospital of Endocrinology of Sofia, Bulgaria presented results of a prospective, single-arm study of 15 patients with benign solid thyroid nodules treated with Echopulse®. Results demonstrated US-guided ablation with Echopulse® effectively reduces thyroid nodule volume and unlike surgical approaches, has only transient influence on thyroid function. The mean nodule volume decreased significantly by 27.7±17.3% at 3 months. Overall, the increase of thyroglobulin and the decrease in serum and hormone levels (TSH, FT3, FT4) occurred following the HIFU procedure, but returned to baseline, indicating that thyroid function was restored to normal values following the procedure.
At CIRSE, Prof. Kovatcheva presented results of a 20-patient, prospective, dual-arm study previously presented at the 5th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound (FUS) in Bethesda, USA. Researchers concluded that the effect of one and two consecutive HIFU treatments using Echopulse® in solid benign thyroid nodules is comparable, and that the method is safe and well tolerated by the patients, with rare and transient side effects. They found that long-term thyroid function remains normal.