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Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2013 Oct;17(20):2822-6.

Prophylactic arterial catheterization in the management of high risk patients for obstetric haemorrhage.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Perugia - Azienda Ospedaliera di Perugia, Perugia, Italy.  



Post-partum haemorrhage still remains one of the major causes of maternal morbidity and mortality. In case of abnormal placentation it is possible to carry out preventive and therapeutic actions. To maintain fertility in reproductive-aged women and to avoid a more radical surgery, embolization has been introduced in patients at high risk for haemorrhage. To describe a new option in the management of patients with abnormal placentation by an elective, preventive arterial catheterization and selective embolization of pelvic arteries.


A retrospective study including thirty six patients with abnormal placental invasion. All patients were prepared in the angiographic room and preventive arterial catheterization was performed before elective caesarean delivery. Materials for interventional angiography were transferred to the operating room. During surgery, selective embolization of pelvic arteries was realized in case of uncontrolled bleeding.


Thirty-six elective arterial catheterizations were performed: 4 cases (11.1%) required embolization, haemorrhage was stopped in 2 patients. Hysterectomy was performed in two cases (5.5%). No death was reported. Two humeral thrombosis (5.5%) were registered.


Prophylactic arterial catheterization appears to be safe. The main advantage is the reduction of the interval between the onset of bleeding and the embolization. This new option of management may contribute to reduce the risk of hysterectomy and maternal death.

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