Does the choice of embolic agent matter in fibroid embolization?

Jim Spies
Jim Spies

At the Society of Interventional Radiology’s annual scientific meeting in San Francisco, Jim Spies, Washington DC, USA, told delegates that the successful long-term outcome of uterine fibroid embolization is defined by symptom control, no recurrent growth of fibroids and the absence of re-interventions. 

“Fibroids need to completely infarct to avoid recurrence; so the technical goal of fibroid embolization is to infarct all fibroids. Does the clinical performance of different embolics vary?” he asked.


After reviewing the available literature, Spies noted that old style polyvinyl alcohol is effective and the most cost-effective embolic. “Embospheres have been proved to be effective against polyvinyl alcohol. A predominance of evidence suggests that spherical polyvinyl alcohol is not effective when compared to polyvinyl alcohol. Embozene has not yet been tested in comparative trials but the initial clinical data are promising and Bead Block is similarly effective in a single trial, which may have been underpowered,” he said.