Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 
  Users Online: 610 Home Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size  

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 25-27  

Angiographic embolization for intractable obstetrical bleeding

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India
2 Department of Cardiology, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India

Date of Web Publication22-Jan-2014

Correspondence Address:
Pooja Tandon
Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-516X.125681

Rights and Permissions

Aims and Objectives: The objective of this study is to review the clinical profile and outcome in patients requiring the angiographic embolization in obstetrics. Methods: The retrospective data of patients requiring uterine artery embolization for control of obstetrical hemorrhage was studied during the period from August, 2005 to August, 2010. Results: A total of 35 patients with obstetrical hemorrhage (seven post lower segment caesarean section, 13 post vaginal delivery, 13 postabortal, one with cervical pregnancy and one patient post laparotomy for abdominal pregnancy) underwent angiographic embolization for control of bleeding. In all patients, hemorrhage was successfully controlled; none required post procedure hysterectomy and one patient subsequently became pregnant with in a year. Conclusion: Our clinical experience suggests that embolization is superior first-line alternatives to surgery for control of obstetric hemorrhage including postpartum, post-cesarean and postabortal bleeding and prevents hysterectomy.

Keywords: Obstetrical hemorrhage, uterine artery embolization, intractable bleeding

How to cite this article:
Tandon P, Juneja SK, Mohan B. Angiographic embolization for intractable obstetrical bleeding. Int J App Basic Med Res 2014;4:25-7

How to cite this URL:
Tandon P, Juneja SK, Mohan B. Angiographic embolization for intractable obstetrical bleeding. Int J App Basic Med Res [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 Jan 17];4:25-7. Available from: https://www.ijabmr.org/text.asp?2014/4/1/25/125681

   Introduction Top

In obstetrics and gynecology angiographic embolization has been successfully used in patients with life-threatening intractable pelvic hemorrhage when routine medical and conservative methods of bleeding control have been tried and not found effective. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7] Management options available to treat intractable pelvic hemorrhage include: Hysterectomy, bilateral internal artery ligation and uterine artery embolization (UAE). Since embolization preserves the uterus and avoids the hazards associated with its removal, it is emerging as a preferred technique to arrest intractable obstetrical hemorrhage. [8]

   Methods Top

We studied the clinical profile and outcome in 35 patients requiring UAE for intractable obstetrical hemorrhage over a period of five years (from August 2005 to August 2010).

All the procedures were performed under local anesthesia, percutaneous catheterization was done through the femoral artery, arteriogram taken to visualize the arterial arcade and catheter advanced in to uterine artery and artery occluded with polyvinyl alcohol particles 500-700 μm and/or gel foam pledgets/coils. Check arteriogram was performed and the procedure repeated for contralateral uterine artery.

   Results Top

There were seven post lower segment cesarean section (LSCS) cases out of which six patients were with secondary postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) including one case of placenta accreta and one patient with primary PPH; post vaginal delivery nine patients presented with primary PPH and four with secondary PPH, of these seven had atonic PPH, three were with coagulation abnormalities of which one was with puerperal sepsis, two had undergone manual removal of the placenta and one case with one traumatic PPH [Table 1]. In 13 patients, embolization was done for postabortal hemorrhage [Table 1]. Eight patients underwent UAE to control bouts of bleeding following repeated dilatation and curettage (D and Cs) for first trimester abortions, three patients had second trimester abortions and two patients with gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) on chemotherapy with heavy bleeding underwent UAE. All patients were hemodynamically unstable, but with normal coagulation profile except three which was simultaneously corrected, βhCG was sent in all patients with postabortal hemorrhage at admission to rule out GTD. UAE was done successfully in all patients followed by D and C in next 24 h if required. There was one patient with cervical ectopic pregnancy who underwent UAE followed by ultrasonography (USG) guided evacuation within 24 h of UAE with an uneventful post evacuation period. Another patient 35 years old G 3 P 2 L 2 with 35 weeks amenorrhea with abdominal pregnancy underwent laparotomy. 1.83 kg male baby was extracted as breech with immediate cry. Placenta was attached to bladder, omentum and uterus. Cord tied twice near placental attachment and cut Placenta was left inside. She underwent selective arterial embolization to prevent hemorrhagic complications. Day 15 post embolization no definite arterial flow was appreciated on USG and patient remained asymptomatic on follow-up.

Maximum number of women 42.86% were in the age group of 26-30 years [Table 2]. Nearly 37.14% women were primigravidas [Table 3].
Table 1: Causes of obstetrical haemorrhage requiring UAE

Click here to view
Table 2: Distribution according to age

Click here to view
Table 3: Distribution according to gravidity

Click here to view

We had 100% of success rate with no post procedure hysterectomy and there was no mortality. The requirement of blood products was significantly less post UAE (P - 0.006917) in post vaginal delivery and (P - 0.000231) in postabortal patients on paired t-test [Table 4]. The hospital stay was between 3 and 10 days.
Table 4: BT requirement pre- and post-UAE

Click here to view

A total of 17 patients had post embolization syndrome, which was managed with analgesics. One patient had groin hematoma, which was managed conservatively. This patient had abnormal coagulation profile. Normal menstruation resumed in 29 (82.3%) patients within 3 months. Four patients (11.4%) resumed menstruation within a year. Two patients were lost to follow-up. One patient conceived spontaneously within a year.

   Discussion Top

PPH is a potentially serious obstetric complication and its management represents an issue of critical concern to an obstetrician. After failure of conservative local measures, such patients have traditionally been treated with bilateral hypogastric artery ligation or hysterectomy. Disadvantages of surgical treatment include significant failure rates for hypogastric artery ligation, the need for general anesthesia and surgical complications including infection, bleeding and ureteric injury. [1]

Transcatheter arterial embolization has recently emerged as a highly effective percutaneous technique for controlling acute and chronic uterine/pelvic hemorrhage in a wide variety of obstetrical and gynecological conditions. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7] Benefits for the patient and health-care providers have included low complication rates, avoidance of surgical risks, fertility preservation and shorter hospital stay.

One drawback of the procedure, though highly effective as demonstrated by the literature as well as confirmed by our experience is the risk of radiation as the procedure takes about 30 min with experienced hands at our center. The amount of radiation to ovaries during the procedure has been found to be: 22-66 cGy. [9] This is 30-100 times higher than those during conventional diagnostic radiographic examinations (hysterosalpingogram) yet it is much lower than the doses required for irradiation of malignancy. Return of normal menses occurs usually within 6 months. No adverse effects on fertility have been so far reported. [10] Our series though small, is also an indicator in the same direction.

   Conclusion Top

Our clinical experience suggests that embolization should be used before surgical treatment of pelvic bleeding in many clinical settings, including postpartum, post-cesarean and postabortal bleeding.

Some studies using embolization in obstetrics and gynecology practice have already been conducted [Table 5]. Results from our centre are better than many of the reported studies.
Table 5: Comparator studies for embolization in obstetrics and gynecology practice

Click here to view

   References Top

1.Vedantham S, Goodwin SC, McLucas B, Mohr G. Uterine artery embolization: An underused method of controlling pelvic hemorrhage. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1997;176:938-48.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Ojala K, Perälä J, Kariniemi J, Ranta P, Raudaskoski T, Tekay A. Arterial embolization and prophylactic catheterization for the treatment for severe obstetric hemorrhageFNx01. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2005;84:1075-80.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Borgatta L, Chen AY, Reid SK, Stubblefield PG, Christensen DD, Rashbaum WK. Pelvic embolization for treatment of hemorrhage related to spontaneous and induced abortion. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2001;185:530-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Badawy SZ, Etman A, Singh M, Murphy K, Mayelli T, Philadelphia M. Uterine artery embolization: The role in obstetrics and gynecology. Clin Imaging 2001;25:288-95.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Chung JW, Jeong HJ, Joh JH, Park JS, Jun JK, Kim SH. Percutaneous transcatheter angiographic embolization in the management of obstetric hemorrhage. J Reprod Med 2003;48:268-76.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Pelage JP, Le Dref O, Jacob D, Soyer P, Herbreteau D, Rymer R. Selective arterial embolization of the uterine arteries in the management of intractable post-partum hemorrhage. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 1999;78:698-703.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Hansch E, Chitkara U, McAlpine J, El-Sayed Y, Dake MD, Razavi MK. Pelvic arterial embolization for control of obstetric hemorrhage: A five-year experience. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1999;180:1454-60.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Greenwood LH, Glickman MG, Schwartz PE, Morse SS, Denny DF. Obstetric and nonmalignant gynecologic bleeding: Treatment with angiographic embolization. Radiology 1987;164:155-9.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Nikolic B, Spies JB, Lundsten MJ, Abbara S. Patient radiation dose associated with uterine artery embolization. Radiology 2000;214:121-5.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Descargues G, Mauger Tinlot F, Douvrin F, Clavier E, Lemoine JP, Marpeau L. Menses, fertility and pregnancy after arterial embolization for the control of postpartum haemorrhage. Hum Reprod 2004;19:339-43.  Back to cited text no. 10


  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]

This article has been cited by
1 Short & long term adverse outcomes after arterial embolisation for the treatment of postpartum haemorrhage: a systematic review
Marie-Aimée Päivi Soro,Alban Denys,Maud de Rham,David Baud
European Radiology. 2016;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Embolización arterial selectiva en la hemorragia posparto. Experiencia en nuestro centro
Ana Isabel Hernández Peñalver,Pilar Marín Sánchez,Almudena Peces Rama,Coral Moreno López,Francisco Machado Linde,Jose Eliseo Blanco Carnero,Antonio Capel Alemán,Aníbal Nieto Díaz
Progresos de Obstetricia y Ginecología. 2015;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
    Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded383    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 2    

Recommend this journal