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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2003 Dec;14(12):1503-9.

Superselective microcoil embolization for the treatment of lower gastrointestinal hemorrhage.

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Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Division of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.



To evaluate the safety and effectiveness of superselective microcoil embolization for the treatment of lower gastrointestinal (LGI) hemorrhage.


A retrospective review of LGI superselective microcoil embolization data for a 10-year period was performed. During this period, twenty-two patients with evidence on angiography of LGI bleeding underwent superselective microcoil embolization. Hemorrhage was treated in the colon (n = 19) and jejunum (n = 3). Ivalon was used adjunctively in two patients and gelfoam was used as a secondary agent in two additional patients. Postembolization ischemia was evaluated objectively in 14 patients by colonoscopy (n = 10), surgical specimen (n = 3), and barium enema (n = 1). All patients were followed for clinical evidence of bowel ischemia. Four patients died before further follow-up could be performed. Additionally, 122 cases of LGI hemorrhage treated with superselective microcoil embolization were identified in a review of the literature. A meta-analysis was then performed, combining the data in this study and the data from the literature, to estimate the rate of major and minor ischemic complications on a total of 144 superselective microcoil embolizations.


Immediate hemostasis was achieved in all 22 patients in this study. Complete clinical success was achieved in 86% of patients (19 of 22 patients). Rebleeding occurred in 14% of patients (3 of 22 patients) and each underwent colonoscopic intervention with success. Postembolization objective follow-up was performed in 64% of patients (14 of 22 patients). Ten patients underwent follow-up colonoscopy; one patient received a follow-up barium enema; and three patients underwent subsequent surgery. Colonic resection (one partial and one total) was performed in two patients. The partial colectomy was performed in a patient who had been diagnosed with colonic polyps and dysplasia. The total colectomy was performed on a patient with history of chronic LGI bleeding complicated by long-term anticoagulation therapy and a history of tubular adenoma resection. The third surgical patient (16 months old) underwent a follow-up exploratory laparotomy after embolization of a proximal jejunal branch of the superior mesenteric artery. None of the three patients who underwent surgery were found to have postembolic ischemic changes in the bowel specimen. Four patients in this study died, for reasons unrelated to hemorrhage or embolization, before further follow-up could be performed. The last four patients were followed clinically and experienced no symptoms of intestinal ischemia. A minor ischemic complication was reported in 4.5% of patients (1 of 22 patients), and there were no major ischemic complications (0%) in this series. A review of the data from 122 cases of LGI superselective microcoil embolization in the literature is also presented. Combined with the data in this study, the minor complication rate was 9% (13 of 144 patients), and the major complication rate was 0% (0 of 144 patients).


Superselective microcoil embolization is a safe and effective treatment for LGI hemorrhage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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