OBJECTIVE: To estimate the safety and efficacy of laparoscopic ultrasound-guided radiofrequency volumetric thermal ablation of uterine myomas in symptomatic women.
METHODS: A cohort of 135 premenopausal symptomatic women with uterine myomas, uteri 14 weeks of gestation-sized or less with no single myoma exceeding 7 cm, and objectively confirmed heavy menstrual bleeding participated in this prospective, international trial of outpatient laparoscopic ultrasound-guided radiofrequency volumetric thermal ablation. Bleeding outcomes were measured by alkaline hematin analysis at baseline and again at 3, 6, and 12 months posttreatment. Validated quality-of-life and patient satisfaction scales and objective measurements of uterine and myoma volume were conducted at 3, 6, and 12 months.
RESULTS: The mean baseline menstrual blood loss of women in the full analysis set (n=127) was 272.7±82.3 mL. At 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-ups, mean alkaline hematin and associated menstrual blood loss decreased from baseline levels by 31.8%, 40.7%, and 38.3%, respectively (P<.001, paired t test). Symptom severity decreased from a baseline mean transformed score of 61.1 to 26.6 at 12 months postprocedure (P<.001, paired t test). Health-related quality of life improved from a mean transformed score of 37.3 at baseline to 79.5 at 12 months (P<.001, paired t test). At 12 months postprocedure, total mean myoma volume decreased from baseline by 45.1% (measured by magnetic resonance imaging). There was one serious adverse event (one of 135 [0.7%]) requiring readmission 5 weeks postprocedure and one surgical reintervention for persistent bleeding. Ninety-four percent of the women reported satisfaction with the treatment.
CONCLUSION: Radiofrequency volumetric thermal ablation of myomas is well tolerated and results in rapid recovery, high patient satisfaction, improved quality of life, and effective symptom relief.
CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, www.clinicaltrials.gov, NCT00874029.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II