Is a large fibroid a high-risk factor for uterine artery embolization?

Research paper by Tetsuya T Katsumori, Kazuhiro K Nakajima, Tadashi T Mihara

Indexed on: 24 Oct '03Published on: 24 Oct '03Published in: AJR. American journal of roentgenology


The objective of our study was to determine whether tumor size, specifically uterine fibroids of 10 cm or larger, predisposes a patient to an unacceptably high risk at uterine artery embolization.One hundred fifty-two consecutive women underwent embolization for uterine fibroids. Complications and outcomes were analyzed using questionnaires and serial MRI between women with one or more uterine fibroids of 10 cm or larger diameter (mean, 12.4 cm; range, 10-19 cm) (n = 47, group 1) and women with each uterine fibroid of less than 10 cm diameter (mean, 6.8 cm; range, 2-9.5 cm) (n = 105, group 2).Thirty complications (19.7%, 30/152), which occurred in 27 women (17.8%, 27/152), were noted. However, 25 of 30 complications were minor, requiring no or nominal therapy. They occurred in 19.1% (9/47) of group 1 and in 15.2% (16/105) of group 2 women (p = 0.637). Major complications requiring major therapy, unplanned increased level of care, or unanticipated prolonged hospitalization (> 48 hr) or including permanent adverse sequelae were noted in 6.4% (3/47) of group 1 and in 1.9% (2/105) of group 2 women (p = 0.172). Of these five women, four underwent surgery because of sloughing fibroids. Permanent adverse sequelae were observed in one woman of group 1, who has had sexual dysfunction after embolization. No deaths occurred in either group. There was no significant difference in most outcomes or in intervals until the complete disappearance of postprocedural pain and full recovery between the two groups.We found no increased risk to patients undergoing uterine artery embolization for fibroids on the basis of tumor size. Successful outcomes can be obtained for such lesions.