Objective: To assess the comparative efficacy of perivascular vasopressin and tourniquet in minimizing bleeding and its sequelae at myomectomy.
Methods: Between March 1994 and February 1995, 52 women with symptomatic uterine leiomyomas scheduled for myomectomy were entered into a randomized trial comparing vasopressin (26 patients) and tourniquet (26 patients) for hemostasis. Myomectomy was performed after either the perivascular injection of 20 U of vasopressin diluted to 20 mL with normal saline or with the use of a Foley catheter tourniquet around both uterine vessels. The efficacy of each method was measured by comparing differences in pre- and postoperative hemoglobin levels, intraoperative blood pressure, measured blood loss, need for blood transfusion, evidence of postoperative febrile morbidity, complications, and length of hospital stay.
Results: Vasopressin resulted in less blood loss (mean 287.3 mL [standard deviation (SD) 195] versus 512.7 mL [SD 400] for tourniquet [P = .036]). Six of 26 patients in the tourniquet group lost more than 1000 mL of blood, whereas all of the vasopressin subjects lost less than this amount (P = .023). However, there were no significant differences between the two groups in the fall in the hemoglobin level, number of blood transfusions given, intraoperative blood pressure, highest postoperative pulse and temperature, or other complications.
Conclusion: Vasopressin prevents blood loss better than using the tourniquet during myomectomy.