Uterine artery embolization in the treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroid tumors (EMMY trial): periprocedural results and complications

Nicole A. Volkers, Wouter J. K. Hehenkamp, Erwin Birnie, Cees de Vries, Cor Holt, Willem M. Ankum, Jim A. Reekers

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PURPOSE: Uterine artery embolization (UAE) is an emerging treatment for symptomatic uterine fibroid tumors. This study was performed to evaluate the periprocedural results of the UAE procedure and identify risk factors for technical failure, fever after UAE, pain, and other complications. MATERIALS AND METHODS: As part of a multicenter, randomized trial to compare UAE versus hysterectomy in patients with symptomatic uterine fibroid tumors, 81 patients underwent UAE. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to identify predictors for technical failure, postprocedural fever, complications as defined by the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR), and pain scores. RESULTS: The technical failure rate according to SIR guidelines was 5.3% (95% CI, 2.3%-10.1%). The procedural failure rate was 17.3% (95% CI, 9.8%-27.3%). Bilateral failure occurred in four of 81 patients and unilateral failure occurred in 10 of 81 patients. Technical failure occurred mainly as a result of difficult anatomy (3.7%) or absence of the uterine artery (3.1%). The overall complication rates were 28.4% during the patients' hospital stay and 60.5% for the 6 weeks after discharge. The risk of technical failure was found to increase in the presence of a single fibroid tumor (odds ratio [OR], 6.21; 95% CI, 1.65-23.41; P = .007) and/or a small uterine volume ( <500 cm(3); OR, 10.8; 95% CI, 1.25-93.36; P = .03). The amount of embolization material was associated with the onset of fever after UAE (OR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.09-3.87; P = .027), major complications (OR, 5.68; 95% CI, 2.05-15.75; P = .001), and high pain scores (OR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.08-3.58; P = .027). CONCLUSIONS: The procedural failure rate for UAE was higher than those reported by others, mainly as a result of difficult anatomy and absence of a uterine artery in some cases. The risk of procedural failure was increased for patients with single fibroid tumors and/or small uterine volumes. A clear dose-effect response was revealed between the amount of embolization material used and the risk for postprocedural fever, major complications, and severe pain
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-480
JournalJournal of vascular and interventional radiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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