Selective embolization in the treatment of intractable epistaxis

Acta Otolaryngol. 2005 Mar;125(3):293-7. doi: 10.1080/00016480410023029.


Conclusions: In skilled hands, selective embolization is a safe procedure and represents an effective treatment for prolonged epistaxis. Embolization therapy can be repeated if necessary.

Objective: Severe posterior epistaxis is a common clinical problem in an ENT department and controlling the bleeding may present difficulties. Several methods are used to control posterior epistaxis, one of the latest treatment strategies being selective embolization of the nasal arteries. The aim of this study was to describe the effect of selective embolization in 22 patients treated with a total of 30 procedures at the ENT Department of Odense University Hospital between January 1995 and March 2004. To our knowledge this is the first Nordic work in which selective embolization has been used as a treatment strategy for patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT).

Material and methods: This was a retrospective review. Post-treatment effects and complications were evaluated by means of a questionnaire and a telephone interview. Owing to the different treatment strategies used, the results were evaluated for 2 groups of patients: Group A, 9 patients with HHT; and Group B, 13 patients with causes of epistaxis other than HHT.

Results: In Group A, 15 procedures were performed, 12 of which were beneficial as the duration and number of episodes of epistaxis were reduced. In Group B, 15 procedures were performed and the success rate was 87%. One patient suffered from skin necrosis at the tip of the nose. No other serious side-effects of the treatment were observed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / adverse effects
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Epistaxis / therapy*
  • Female
  • Hemostatic Techniques / instrumentation
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retreatment
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tampons, Surgical
  • Telangiectasia, Hereditary Hemorrhagic / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome