Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2013 Sep;471(9):2906-11. doi: 10.1007/s11999-013-3119-z.

Acute complications of patients with pelvic fractures after pelvic angiographic embolization.

Author information

UCSF/SFGH Orthopaedic Trauma Institute, 2550 23rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA.



Hemodynamically unstable patients with a pelvic fracture and arterial pelvic bleeding frequently are treated with pelvic angiographic embolization (PAE). PAE is reported to be a safe and effective method of controlling hemorrhage. However, the loss of blood supply and subsequent ischemia from embolization may lead to adverse consequences.


We sought to determine (1) the frequency and types of complications observed after PAE; (2) the mortality after PAE; and (3) the clinical factors associated with complications and mortality after PAE.


We conducted a retrospective case series descriptive study at a Level I trauma center. Using our institution's trauma registry, we isolated patients with pelvic fractures treated with PAE admitted between June 1999 and December 2007. Complications attributed to PAE occurring in the initial hospital stay were recorded. We identified 98 patients with pelvic fractures treated by PAE with an average hospital stay of 25.3 days.


The complication rate was 11% and included six patients with gluteal muscle necrosis (6%), five with surgical wound breakdown (5%), four deep infections (4%), one superficial infection, two patients with of impotence (2%), and one with bladder necrosis. The mortality rate in the PAE group reached 20%. Bilateral embolization was performed in 100% of the patients with complications. Nonselective embolization was performed in 81% of patients with complications. All of the patients with gluteal necrosis had bilateral nonselective embolization.


Bilateral or nonselective PAE is associated with significant complications during the initial hospital stay. The value of PAE should be weighed against its possible adverse consequences. Selective unilateral arterial embolization should be considered whenever possible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center