Transradial access for uterine artery embolization could be “a game changer”



A study, published in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, highlights the benefits of the transradial approach to treat uterine fibroids and investigators find that this technique could be a “game changer” for image-guided minimally invasive treatments.

“Improving patient care and providing advanced treatment options are always on the minds of interventional radiologists. And this could be a game changer for image-guided minimally invasive treatments,” said Aaron M Fischman, an interventional radiologist and assistant professor of Radiology and Surgery, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, USA.

Mount Sinai researchers studied the access treatment favoured by some cardiologists for coronary interventions and applied it to uterine artery embolization. By changing the access for treatment from the artery in the groin to the artery in the wrist, the researchers said that the women experienced less pain and trauma than the traditional groin technique—opening the door to potential savings in health care costs. Complications related to bleeding at the puncture site are also significantly reduced using this novel approach. Patients are able to walk immediately after treatment, which dramatically improves their experience. “This is just the beginning,” he added, indicating that this technique may also pave the way toward improving other interventional radiology treatments, including those for cancer patients.

“Few reports in the literature have explored this application to interventional radiology treatments. This is the first reported use of transradial access for uterine arteryembolization,” Fischman added.

Women seeking fibroid embolization at Mount Sinai were presented both access options, said Fischman. His team treated 29 consecutive women (ages 23–56) from March through October 2013.

Technical success rate was 100%, with no immediate major or minor complications. The radial artery was patent at 1-month follow-up evaluation in all cases, the investigators reported.

Fischman said that their findings suggest that transradial uterine fibroid embolization offers a safe and effective alternative to transfemoral UFE. He indicated that a much larger prospective, randomised trial is needed to validate conclusions about specific benefits of this novel approach and noted that interventional radiologists will need to be trained in this new access.

In addition to presenting this study, Fischman will be leading workshops on this new technology at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s Annual Scientific Meeting March 22–27 in San Diego, USA.