Author(s): Spies JB
OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency and severity of complications that occur as a result of uterine artery embolization for leiomyomas. METHODS: As part of an ongoing study of outcome after uterine embolization, prospective data regarding complications that occurred in 400 consecutive patients were gathered. Each patient had a minimum of a 3-month interval from the procedure at the time of analysis. Each complication was categorized and graded as to severity and outcome using the complication classification developed by the Society of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology (SCVIR) and a modified set of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) criteria for complications of hysterectomy and myomectomy. All adverse events that occurred during the follow-up period were included, including those that occurred after the 3-month minimum interval. Confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for each complication. RESULTS: There were no deaths and no major permanent injuries. One patient required hysterectomy as a result of a complication, and one patient had an undiagnosed leiomyosarcoma. There were ten in-hospital complications and an additional 27 complications within the first 30 days, with 34 patients experiencing a periprocedural complication for a rate of 8.5% (95% CI 6.0%, 11.7%). There were five serious complications (SCVIR class D), comprising 1.25% (95% CI 0.3%, 2.5%) of the study group. Using ACOG definitions for perioperative complications, the overall morbidity was 5% (95% CI 3.1%, 7.7%). CONCLUSION: The short-term complication rate was low in women undergoing uterine embolization.