Uterine artery embolization for postpartum and postabortion hemorrhage: a retrospective analysis of complications, subsequent fertility and pregnancy outcomes

Jpn J Radiol. 2020 Mar;38(3):240-247. doi: 10.1007/s11604-019-00907-2. Epub 2019 Dec 6.


Purpose: To evaluate the impact of UAE for postpartum and postabortion hemorrhage on future infertility, especially in patients undergoing infertility treatment, along with angiographic endpoints.

Materials and methods: Sixty-two sessions performed emergent or prophylactic UAE for postpartum or postabortion hemorrhage between 2008 and 2017 were selected. Subsequent pregnancy outcomes and complications were investigated as primary outcomes. The cases were divided into two groups based on the presence of massive hemorrhage. The relationships between angiographic endpoints and complications were also evaluated as secondary outcomes.

Results: The mean patient age was 34.1 ± 6.5 years. Fourteen of the 23 patients (60.9%) with desired fertility achieved pregnancy and 10 patients achieved live births (43.5%). In the patients during infertility treatment, three of the four patients had complications of severe adhesion after caesarean section or placenta accreta. In the group of patients with massive hemorrhage, the occurrence of uterine infection was significantly high (p = 0.014), but the angiographic endpoints were not significant, regardless of the occurrence of uterine infection.

Conclusion: It was unnecessary to modify embolic endpoint according to seriousness of the hemorrhage. The pregnancy and live birth rates were acceptable, although patients undergoing infertility treatment had a higher rate of delivery complications.

Keywords: Complication; Postpartum hemorrhage; Pregnancy; Uterine artery embolization.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aftercare / methods*
  • Angiography
  • Female
  • Fertility*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / therapy*
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage / therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uterine Artery Embolization / methods*
  • Young Adult