To evaluate the effect of uterine artery embolisation (UAE) on menstrual blood loss (MBL) and uterine volume in women with symptomatic uterine fibroids.Design
Prospective observational study.Setting
West of Scotland gynaecology and radiology departments.Population
Fifty women (mean age 43 years) with symptomatic fibroids undergoing UAE between January 1999 and June 2003.Methods
Women collected sanitary protection from one menses pre-embolisation and at regular intervals thereafter. This allowed objective measurement of MBL using the alkaline haematin technique. Uterine volume was calculated using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before and six months following embolisation. Interventional radiologists performed bilateral UAE. The Wilcoxon's signed rank test was used for statistical analysis of data.Main outcome measures
Post-embolisation MBL and uterine volume changes.Results
Median pretreatment MBL was 162 mL (mean 234, range 9–1339). The median MBL decreased to 60 mL at 3 months (n = 34, range 0–767, P < 0.001), 70 mL at 6–9 months (n = 34, range 0–1283, P < 0.001), 37 mL at 12–24 months (n = 25, range 0–265, P < 0.001), 18 mL at 24–36 months (n = 17, range 0–205, P < 0.001) and 41 mL at 36–48 months (n = 6, range 0–66, P < 0.05). The median reduction in uterine volume was 40% (n = 46, 95% CI 33.0–49.7, P < 0.001).Conclusions
UAE causes a statistically significant reduction in objectively measured MBL. UAE is also associated with a statistically significant reduction in uterine volume at six months. There was no relationship between the changes in uterine volume and MBL.