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Evidence to Improve Care

Magnetic Resonance-Guided High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound for Treatment of Women with Symptomatic Uterine Fibroids


Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee Recommendations

Based on the current available evidence, the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee recommends that magnetic resonance–guided high-intensity focused ultrasound be considered as one option in the treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids in women who are unresponsive to medical therapy.

Read the full OHTAC Recommendation



Uterine fibroids are common noncancerous growths in the uterus. Many fibroids cause no problems, but in some cases women experience problems such as pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, bladder problems, and infertility.

Each year in Ontario, thousands of women seek medical attention for symptoms related to fibroids. Medication often helps. Other options include surgery (to remove the fibroids or the entire uterus) or a procedure called uterine artery embolization, which destroys fibroids by blocking their blood supply.


Health Quality Ontario Reviews Magnetic Resonance-Guided High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound for the Treatment of Uterine Fibroids

Many women with uterine fibroids want to avoid surgery, especially if they want to have children in the future. A non-invasive alternative is magnetic resonance-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound. This treatment uses ultrasound waves to heat and destroy the fibroids.


Magnetic Resonance–Guided High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (MRgHIFU) for Treatment of Women With Symptomatic Uterine Fibroids: An Evidence-Based Analysis (PDF)
March 2015

Magnetic Resonance–Guided High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (MRgHIFU) for Treatment of Women With Symptomatic Uterine Fibroids: An Economic Analysis (PDF)
March 2015


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The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is currently reviewing this recommendation.



Health Technology Assessment at Health Quality Ontario

As part of our core function to promote health care supported by the best available evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze the evidence for a wide range of health interventions, including diagnostic tests, medical devices, interventional and surgical procedures, health care programs and models of care. These analyses are informed by input from a range of individuals, including patients and clinical experts. The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) — a committee of the Health Quality Ontario board of directors — reviews the evidence and makes recommendations about whether health care interventions should be publicly funded or not. Draft recommendations are posted on the Health Quality Ontario website for feedback. Final recommendations are approved by our board of directors and then shared with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more detailed information, visit our Evidence to Improve Care pages.


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