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Keywords:

  • Doppler ultrasound;
  • Embolization;
  • Fibroid;
  • Sonography;
  • Uterine arteries

Abstract

Objectives

To evaluate sonographic features following uterine artery embolization and to assess using ultrasound the efficacy of embolization as the primary treatment of fibroids.

Design

Fifty-eight women (mean age, 44.5 years; range, 33–65 years) suffering from symptoms due to fibroids (menometrorrhagia, bulk-related symptoms, pelvic pain) were followed-up after uterine artery embolization by ultrasound examination at 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years with assessment of volume and vascularization of fibroids as well as uterine vascularization.

Results

Fifty-eight patients were examined at 3 months, 46 at 6 months, 36 at 1 year and 19 at 2 years. Most patients were improved or free of symptoms at 3 months (90%), 6 months (92%) and 1 year (87%) and all monitored patients were free of symptoms at 2 years. Clinical failure of treatment occurred in only two cases (3%). Progressive significant reduction in fibroid size with reference to the baseline was demonstrated during follow-up from 3 months (−29%) to 24 months (−86%). Absence of intrafibroid vessels was observed in all except three cases as early as 3 months, whereas perifibroid vessels persisted in 21 cases. No changes in uterine vascularization or uterine artery resistance were noted.

Conclusions

Uterine artery embolization is a valuable endovascular method for the treatment of fibroids, resulting in marked reduction in fibroid size and disappearance of intrafibroid vessels without reduction in uterine vascularization which is well depicted by sonography. Copyright © 2002 ISUOG