Uterine artery embolization for ureteric obstruction secondary to fibroids

Saeed Mirsadraee, David Tuite, Anthony Nicholson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This case series examines the safety and efficacy of uterine artery embolization (UAE) in the treatment of obstructive nephropathy caused by large fibroids. Between 2004 and 2007, 10 patients referred with symptomatic uterine fibroids that were found to be causing either unilateral (7 patients) or bilateral (3 patients) hydronephrosis were treated by UAE. Presenting complaints included menorrhagia, dysmenorrhea, bulk symptoms, loin pain, postobstructive atrophy, and mild renal impairment. All had posterior intramural dominant fibroids >11 cm in maximum sagittal diameter and uterine volumes between 3776 and 15,625 ml. Outcome measures at between 12 and 36 months included procedural success, repeat intervention, relief of symptoms, resolution of hydronephrosis, stable renal function and size, and avoidance of hysterectomy. In all cases the cause of renal obstruction was confirmed to be a giant fibroid compressing the ureter at the pelvic brim. In all cases UAE was technically successful, though two patients required a repeat procedure. In eight patients hydronephrosis resolved and the obstruction was relieved, though two still had some bulk symptoms not requiring further treatment. Renal function improved or was stable in all cases. Renal size was stable in all cases. Where menorrhagia was part of the symptom complex it was relieved in all cases. Two patients diagnosed as having postobstructive atrophy of one kidney underwent retrograde ureteric stenting on the nonatrophied side prior to UAE. This was unsuccessful in one of the cases due to the distortion caused by the fibroid. Despite improvement in hydronephrosis this patient underwent hysterectomy at 7 months after a renogram demonstrated persistent obstruction at the pelvic brim. In the second patient a double pigtail stent was inserted with difficulty and eventually removed at 8 months. This patient has had stable renal function and size for 3 years post-UAE. We conclude that UAE is safe and effective in treating patients with obstructive hydronephrosis caused by large fibroids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1094-9
Number of pages6
JournalCardiovascular and interventional radiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2008


  • Adult
  • Angiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydronephrosis
  • Hysterectomy
  • Leiomyomatosis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ureteral Obstruction
  • Uterine Artery Embolization
  • Uterine Neoplasms
  • Uterus

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