Postpartum haemorrhage due to genital tract injury after vaginal delivery: safety and efficacy of transcatheter arterial embolisation
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To evaluate the safety and efficacy of transcatheter arterial embolisation (TAE) managing postpartum haemorrhage associated with genital tract injury (PPH-GTI) and to determine the factors associated with clinical outcomes.
From 2002 to 2017, a retrospective analysis was performed in 60 patients (mean 31.5 years) undergoing TAE for PPH-GTI. Information regarding clinical data, angiography and embolisation details, and clinical outcomes was obtained. Univariate analyses were performed to determine the factors related to clinical outcomes.
Technical and clinical success was achieved in 98% and 88%, respectively. Bleeding foci were observed on angiography in 56 patients (93%). The major bleeding artery was the vaginal artery (32%, 24/74), followed by the uterine artery (cervicovaginal branch) (n = 18), internal pudendal artery (n = 13), cervical artery (n = 9), inferior mesenteric artery (n = 4) and external pudendal artery (n = 3). Embolic agents were gelatin sponge particles (n = 23), gelatin sponge with permanent embolic agents (microcoils, n-butyl cyanoacrylate) (n = 34) and permanent embolic agents only (n = 3). In seven patients, bleeding control failed and was managed by repeat TAE (n = 5) or surgery (n = 2) and with eventual bleeding control in all of these patients. Univariate analysis showed that paravaginal haematoma, massive transfusion and long hospital stay were related to clinical failure. During the mean follow-up period of 33.1 months, regular menstruation resumed in 95.2% (40/42) and 14 of them became pregnant.
TAE is safe and effective for treating PPH-GTI. Massive transfusion, paravaginal haematoma and long hospital stay were related to the failure of bleeding control.
• PPH-GTI had a high detection rate of active bleeding foci on angiography.
• Besides vaginal artery, inferior mesenteric and external pudendal arteries were notable bleeding foci.
• Permanent embolic agents were used more than only gelatin sponge particles.
• Paravaginal haematoma and massive transfusion were related to clinical failure.
• TAE for PPH-GTI was safe and effective with preservation of menstrual cycles.
KeywordsPostpartum haemorrhage Genitalia, female Wounds and injuries Delivery, obstetric Radiology, interventional
Inferior mesenteric artery
Postpartum haemorrhage associated with genital tract injury
Transcatheter arterial embolisation
The authors state that this work has not received any funding.
Compliance with ethical standards
The scientific guarantor of this publication is Moon Gyu Lee.
Conflict of interest
The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article.
Statistics and biometry
No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper.
Written informed consent was waived by the institutional review board.
Institutional review board approval was obtained.
• diagnostic or prognostic study
• performed at one institution