Fallopian Tube Catheterization

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

The delicate fallopian tube is the anatomic pathway to human reproduction. Simple, inexpensive tools and techniques allow radiologists to access this structure for promoting, and preventing pregnancy. Results from centers worldwide have shown that catheter recanalization is possible in ∼90% of women with proximal tubal occlusion using basic angiographic techniques familiar to all interventional radiologists. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine has recommended that patients in whom the hysterosalpingogram (HSG) demonstrates proximal tubal occlusion undergo fallopian tube catheterization with selective salpingography prior to more invasive and more costly infertility treatments. The pregnancy rate following fallopian tube recanalization is as high as 60% when the unblocked tubes are found to be normal and there is no history of tubal disease. In a population where the cause of infertility is less well-defined, tubal catheterization may not only help women conceive, but may also help to better define the underlying tubal abnormality. In the prevention of unwanted pregnancy, numerous materials and devices have been tested for blocking fallopian tubes. The ESSURE coil (Conceptus, Inc., Mountain View, CA) was FDA approved in 2002 for tubal sterilization by hysteroscopic placement. In some locales, radiologists are being asked to assist with this procedure or to place the coils fluoroscopically through fallopian tube catheterization.

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