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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2016 Oct;205:72-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2016.08.005. Epub 2016 Aug 10.

Uterine artery pseudoaneurysm: its occurrence after non-traumatic events, and possibility of "without embolization" strategy.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jichi Medical University, 3311-1 Shimotsuke, Tochigi 329-0498, Japan.
Department of Radiology, Jichi Medical University, 3311-1 Shimotsuke, Tochigi 329-0498, Japan.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jichi Medical University, 3311-1 Shimotsuke, Tochigi 329-0498, Japan. Electronic address:



Uterine artery pseudoaneurysm (UAP) has been considered to occur very rarely after traumatic delivery/abortion, and is usually detected after its rupture, yielding massive bleeding. Our hypothesis is: some UAP may be undetected without massive bleeding and may spontaneously resolve, and, thus, may not require transarterial embolization (TAE). We attempted: (1) to detect both ruptured and non-ruptured UAP, thereby characterizing candidates of spontaneously resolving UAP, and (2) to confirm that UAP is not rare and not always associated with traumatic events.


This was a retrospective observational study of 50 women with angiographically confirmed UAP and treated by TAE. Angiograms and medical charts were retrieved to examine the associations among symptoms, ultrasound findings, and extravasation. Gray-scale ultrasound was performed for all women after delivery or abortion as our routine practice.


UAP occurred in 3-6/1000 deliveries and 40% occurred after non-traumatic deliveries/abortion. While 36% had active vaginal bleeding at admission, 64% did not. While 100% of patients with current active bleeding showed extravasation from the pseudoaneurysmal sac, patients without it showed a varied incidence of extravasation depending on the bleeding pattern/history and ultrasound findings. Interestingly, all patients with current bleeding (-), bleeding history (+), and ultrasound-discernable-intrauterine low echoic mass (-) were devoid of extravasation, suggesting that UAP may show progression to thrombosis and, thus, resolve spontaneously.


UAP may not be so rare and not associated with traumatic delivery/abortion. Some UAP may resolve, and, thus, may not require TAE, at least immediately.


Postabortal hemorrhage; Postpartum hemorrhage; Pseudoaneurysm; Transarterial embolization; Uterine artery pseudoaneurysm

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