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Blood. 2005 Apr 1;105(7):2654-7. Epub 2004 Dec 21.

Successful treatment of severe bleeding in hemophilic target joints by selective angiographic embolization.

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Van Creveldkliniek C01 425, Department of Internal Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht, Post Box 85500, 3504 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Bleeding into the joints is common in patients with hemophilia. After total knee or elbow replacement, profuse intraarticular bleeding unresponsive to high-dose clotting factor replacement sometimes occurs. In some patients who have severely damaged elbow or knee joints the same profuse bleeding pattern can be seen. To control bleeding in these patients, selective catheterization with a microcatheter and therapeutic embolization with microcoils was performed whenever a severe blush or microaneurysm was observed on angiography. Over 12 years, in 23 cases of massive joint bleeding in 18 patients with hemophilia selective catheterization was performed. In 15 cases the bleeding was postoperative and in 8 spontaneous. Results of angiographic imaging revealed vascular blush, false aneurysm, true aneurysm, and arteriovenous shunt in combination with an aneurysm as cause of bleeding. In 2 patients, the cause of bleeding was not found. In 21 cases an embolization procedure was performed, in which the bleeding was completely controlled by a single procedure in 14 cases. Recurrence of the bleeding occurred in 7 cases and required a second embolization procedure; in one patient even a third embolization was required to stop the bleeding completely. No difference in the outcome, that is, clinical end of bleeding and joint range of motion, was observed, when comparing postoperative and spontaneous bleeding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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