Shape memory polymer ovarian vein embolisation in a patient with nickel allergy

CVIR Endovasc. 2021 Mar 2;4(1):25. doi: 10.1186/s42155-021-00212-y.


Background: Ovarian vein embolization in pelvic varicocele is usually obtained using nitinol coils. These devices can not be used in patients with proven nickel allergy.

Case presentation: Shape memory polymer is a new embolic material available to interventionalists. A patient presented with pelvic congestion syndrome requiring embolisation of the left ovarian vein. The target vessel consisted of two twisted branches, each 5-6 mm in diameter. The patient also had a known allergy to nickel. Considering the anatomy and allergy status, embolisation with polyurethane shape memory polymer vascular plugs was considered a good case strategy. The embolisation procedure was technically successful with the deployment of two shape memory polymer plugs into each of the two left ovarian vein branches. Follow-up magnetic resonance imaging at 4 months showed sustained occlusion of the treated vessels and the patient showed no signs of allergy to the implanted material.

Conclusions: In conclusion, our case presented an opportunity to utilise a new embolic material and achieve a good outcome in a patient with an allergy that may have resulted in complications when using metallic implants.

Keywords: Nickel allergy; Pelvic congestion syndrome; Peripheral embolisation; Shape memory polymer; Vascular plug.