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STUDY SHOWS MRIS IMPROVE PATIENT SELECTION FOR TREATMENT OF UTERINE FIBROIDS

Nov. 15, 2005
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The use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allows physicians to better understand which patients with uterine fibroids should receive nonsurgical uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) to kill the tumors, according to a new study of 100 women with the condition.

Interventional radiologists use MRIs to determine if a tumor can be embolized, detect alternate causes for the symptoms, identify pathology that could prevent a women from having UFE and avoid ineffective treatments, according to research published in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.

MRIs have become the standard imaging tool used by interventional radiologists, according to the study. Ultrasound imaging tools, by contrast, often does not show other underlying diseases or all the existing fibroids. "Using an MRI rather than ultrasound is like listening to a digital CD rather than a record -- the quality is better in every way," said interventional radiologist and study author Howard Chrisman of Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago.

"With an MRI we can clearly delineate the location of each fibroid, determine if it's viable for treatment nonsurgically, rule out misdiagnosis, identify which treatments are best suited for each patient and avoid ineffective treatments," Chrisman added.