Therapeutic transcatheter arterial embolization in the management of intractable haemorrhage from pelvic urological malignancies: preliminary experience and long-term follow-up




To evaluate the feasibility, efficacy and complications of internal iliac artery embolization as a palliative measure in the control of intractable haemorrhage from advanced pelvic urological malignancies.


Six patients (mean age 80 years, range 76–87) with advanced pelvic malignancies (three each with bladder carcinoma and prostate carcinoma) underwent embolization between September 1997 and July 2001, using permanent coils in the anterior division of internal iliac artery bilaterally.


All patients had undergone conservative treatment before embolization for a mean of 2 days. The mean requirement for transfusion before embolization was 3.2 units. All patients except one were successfully embolized in a single setting with no complications. Bleeding was successfully controlled in one patient at the second attempt of embolization. There were minor complications, e.g. nausea, vomiting or fever, for a mean of 2 days, responding well to conservative treatment. At a mean follow-up of 22 months, no patient had a recurrence of bleeding.


Internal iliac artery embolization is a feasible, effective and minimally invasive option in managing advanced pelvic urological malignancies presenting with intractable bleeding; it should be bilateral and permanent.