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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2006 Jun;263(6):560-6. Epub 2006 Feb 21.

Assessment of safety and efficacy of arterial embolisation in the management of intractable epistaxis.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK.


To evaluate outcomes of intractable epistaxis managed with arterial embolisation. Fourteen sequential cases of intractable epistaxis that underwent embolisation in our centre were evaluated retrospectively and interviewed over the phone. All patients had several failed treatment modalities prior to embolisation. Patients' follow up ranged from 1 to 57 months with median of 26 months. All 14 cases underwent a single embolisation procedure with successful arrest of epistaxis. Four cases (29%) developed recurrent epistaxis at a later date. One (7%) required re-embolisation 19 months after his first procedure. One bled 17 days after embolisation, but this settled with hospital admission and Bismuth Iodoform Paraffin Paste packing. The other two developed minor episodes of epistaxis, which did not require hospital admission. Two patients developed local ischaemic complications following arterial embolisation. Of those, one developed necrosis of the left alar skin and cartilage that healed reasonably well after 5 months. The other case developed mucosal necrosis of the right side of the hard palate; this patient was the one who bled 17 days post-embolisation. The palatal necrosis healed in a satisfactory manner without causing any functional impairment of the oral cavity. Embolisation is a successful intervention in management of persistent epistaxis, when other interventions fail. The risks of major complications such as stroke are well known, and discussed with patients prior to the procedure. It is also important to discuss the risks of ischaemic damage to the face and oral cavity. In our experience, these complications have been minor and the benefits still outweigh the complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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