Skip to main content
Log in

Safety and Effectiveness of UFE in Fibroids Larger than 10 cm

  • Clinical Investigation
  • Published:
CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology Aims and scope Submit manuscript



Early literature suggested that the size of the uterus, the size of the dominant fibroid, and the amount of applied embolization particles would be the risk factors for major postprocedural complications, but recent publications have confuted these early results. The purpose of our study was to evaluate whether the size of the dominant fibroid would influence the complication rate and effectiveness in a large single-center cohort.

Patients and Methods

From 28 April 2008 until 31 December 2012, 303 patients had uterine artery embolization (UAE). 262 patients had small [largest diameter <10 cm (Group 1)], 41 patients had large [largest diameter >10 cm (Group 2)] fibroid. UAE was performed from unilateral femoral access using 500–710 and 355–500 µm polyvinyl alcohol particles. Periprocedural and postprocedural complications and numerical analog quality-of-life scores (0—unbearable symptoms; 100—perfect quality of life) were listed and statistically analyzed.


During the mean follow-up time [7.79 ± 5.16 (SD) month], data on 275 patients (275/303 = 90.8 %) were available. Quality-of-life score was 33.3 ± 23.5 and 33.5 ± 24.1 before, whereas 85.6 ± 16.0 and 81.5 ± 23.5 after UAE in Group 1 and Group 2, respectively, (Mann–Whitney U test one-sided, p = 0.365). There were 4 myoma expulsions, 1 acute myomectomy, and 2 acute hysterectomies reported from Group 1, meanwhile 1 myoma expulsion, 1 acute myomectomy, and 2 acute hysterectomies were documented from Group 2 (NS differences).


There was no significant difference in the effectiveness and in the number of minor and major complications between fibroids with <10 cm largest diameter compared to those >10 cm.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. American College of Obstetricans and Gynecologists (2008) ACOG practice bulletin. Alternatives to hysterectomy in the management of leiomyomas. Obstet Gynecol 112(2 Pt 1):387–400

    Google Scholar 

  2. Ravina JH, Herbreteau D, Ciraru-Vigneron N, Bouret JM, Houdart E, Aymard A, Merland JJ (1995) Arterial embolization to treat uterine myomata. Lancet 346(8976):671–672

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Goodwin SC, Vedantham S, McLucas B, Forno AE, Perrella R (1997) Preliminary experience with uterine artery embolization for uterine fibroids. J Vasc Interv Radiol 8(4):517–526

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Pinto I, Chimeno P, Romo A, Paúl L, Haya J, de la Cal MA, Bajo J (2003) Uterine fibroids: uterine artery embolization versus abdominal hysterectomy for treatment—a prospective, randomized, and controlled clinical trial. Radiology 226(2):425–431

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Spies JB, Cooper JM, Worthington-Kirsch R, Lipman JC, Mills BB, Benenati JF (2004) Outcome of uterine embolization and hysterectomy for leiomyomas: results of a multicenter study. Am J Obstet Gynecol 191(1):22–31

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Spies JB, Spector A, Roth AR, Baker CM, Mauro L, Murphy-Skynarz K (2002) Complications after uterine artery embolization for leiomyomas. Obstet Gynecol 100(5 Pt 1):873–880

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Volkers NA, Hehenkamp WJ, Birnie E et al (2006) Uterine artery embolization in the treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroid tumors (EMMY trial): periprocedural results and complications. J Vasc Interv Radiol 17(3):471–480

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Pelage JP, Le Dref O, Soyer P, Kardache M, Dahan H, Abitbol M, Merland JJ, Ravina JH, Reymer R (2000) Fibroid related menorrhagia: treatment with superselective embolization of the uterine arteries and mid-term follow-up. Radiology 215(2):428–431

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Worthington-Kirsch RL, Popky GL, Hutchins FL Jr (1998) Uterine arterial embolization for the management of leiomyomas: quality-of-life assessment and clinical response. Radiology 208(3):625–629

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Katsumori T, Nakajima K, Mihara T (2003) Is a large fibroid a high-risk factor for uterine artery embolization? Am J Roentgenol 181(5):1309–1314

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Firouznia K, Ghanaati H, Sanaati M, Jalali A (2008) Uterine artery embolization in 101 cases of uterine fibroids: do size, location and number of fibroids affect therapeutic success and complications? Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 31(3):521–526

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Parthipun AA, Taylor J, Manyonda I, Belli AM (2010) Does size really matter? Analysis of the effect of large fibroids and uterine volumes on complication rates of uterine artery embolisation. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 33(5):955–959

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Smeets AJ, Nijenhuis RJ, van Rooij WJ, Weimar EA, Boekkooi PF, Lampmann LE, Vervest HA, Lohle PN (2010) Uterine artery embolization in patients with a large fibroid burden: long-term clinical and MR follow-up. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 33(5):943–948

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

Download references

Conflict of interest

Viktor Bérczi, Éva Valcseva, Dóra Kozics, Ildikó Kalina, Pál Kaposi, Péter Sziller, Szabolcs Várbíró, and Erzsébet Mária Botos have no conflict of interest.

Statement of Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this study.

Statement of Human and Animal Rights

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Viktor Bérczi.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bérczi, V., Valcseva, É., Kozics, D. et al. Safety and Effectiveness of UFE in Fibroids Larger than 10 cm. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 38, 1152–1156 (2015).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: