High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU, or sometimes FUS) is a highly precise medical procedure that applies high-intensity focused sonic energy to locally heat and destroy diseased or damaged tissue through ablation.
HIFU is a hyperthermia therapy, a class of clinical therapies that use temperature to treat diseases. HIFU is also one modality of therapeutic ultrasound, involving minimally invasive or non-invasive methods to direct acoustic energy into the body. In addition to HIFU, other modalities include ultrasound-assisted drug delivery, ultrasound hemostasis, ultrasound lithotripsy, and ultrasound-assisted thrombolysis.
Clinical HIFU procedures are typically performed in conjunction with an imaging procedure to enable treatment planning and targeting before applying a therapeutic or ablative levels of ultrasound energy. When Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used for guidance, the technique is sometimes called Magnetic Resonance-guided Focused Ultrasound, often shortened to MRgHIFU or MRgFUS. When diagnostic sonography is used, the technique is sometimes called Ultrasound-guided Focused Ultrasound (USgHIFU or USgFUS).
Currently, MRgHIFU is an approved therapeutic procedure to treat uterine fibroids in Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, Israel and the United States. USgHIFU is approved for use in Bulgaria, China, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom. Research for other indications is actively underway, including clinical trials evaluating the effectiveness of HIFU for the treatment of cancers of the brain, breast, liver, bone, and prostate.