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Injury. 2013 Dec;44(12):1750-5. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2013.05.017. Epub 2013 Jun 21.

Outcome of angiographic embolisation for unstable pelvic ring injuries: Factors predicting success.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Centre, Jerusalem, Israel.



Angiographic embolisation (AE) is a successful treatment for haemodynamically unstable pelvic ring injuries. However, recent evidence has shown a significant complication rate following AE together with a lower success rate than previously reported. The aim of the current study was to review and indentify the factors predicting success or failure of AE.


651 patients with high energy (ISS>16) pelvic ring injuries were treated in our institution between the years 1997 and 2009. Mean patient age was 37 (range 5-89) years, and the average ISS 33.4 (range 16-66). Patients' information was collected from the institution's trauma registry as well as from the patient's medical chart and radiographs. Data included age, ISS, length of stay, ICU stay, initial blood pressure and pulse, blood products consumption, blood creatinine levels, fracture type and treatment, embolisation details, complications and mortality. 61 patients (9.3%) underwent urgent angiography due to haemodynamic instability. Angiography was positive (PA) in 38 patients (62.3%) and was negative for haemorrhage (NA) in the remaining 23 (37.7%).


Ten patients required a branch vessel embolisation while 17 patients required major vessel embolisation, 11 required bilateral internal iliac embolisation and three patients underwent multiple vessel embolisation. Overall mortality rate was 26%. 32 patients required surgical intervention for pelvic ring stabilisation. Significant reduction in blood transfusion was seen in patients with an APC fracture type following AE. No significant correlation was found between fracture type and mortality. Multiple vessel embolisations were associated with increased surgical complications and mortality.


Angiographic embolisation provides a reasonable option for haemodynamically unstable pelvic ring injured patients with an acceptable outcome, supporting previously reported literature. Patients with unstable APC type pelvic fracture may benefit the most from early angiographic embolisation. Patients requiring multiple vessel embolisation have a guarded outcome.


Embolisation; Haemodynamic instability; Pelvic angiography; Pelvic ring fractures

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