News | January 02, 2008

Interventional Radiology Treatment Could Dramatically Decrease Hysterectomy Rate

January 3, 2008 - A multicenter, prospective voluntary registry that included three-year data on 1,278 patients from 26 sites who had minimally invasive interventional radiology treatment for symptomatic uterine fibroids showed uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a durable treatment for fibroids with sustained improvement in quality of life and symptom relief.

Twenty to 40 percent of American women age 35 and older, and nearly 50 percent of pre-menopausal African American women, have uterine fibroids. Of the 600,000 hysterectomies performed annually in the U.S., one-third of these are to relieve symptoms caused by fibroids.

"This registry data is great news for women. With uterine fibroid embolization, we could significantly decrease the hysterectomy rate in the United States,” said Scott Goodwin, M.D., interventional radiologist and lead author.

UFE is a minimally invasive interventional radiology treatment that blocks the blood supply to the fibroid tumors, causing them to shrink and die, and symptoms to subside.

The registry data shows that the long-term clinical outcomes of UFE are consistent when the procedure is performed in any experienced community or academic interventional radiology practice.

"The Registry's outcomes are important not only because of its size, but also because of the diversity of sites that participated. These results demonstrate that uterine fibroid embolization is safe and very effective beyond the academic or specialized centers. It is important for women to know all of their treatment options in order to make an informed decision. Interventional radiologists can provide a second opinion and assess whether UFE is a treatment option. The vast majority of women are eligible for this treatment," said Goodwin.

Interventional radiologists use MRI to delineate the location of each fibroid, determine if a tumor can be embolized, detect alternate causes for the symptoms, identify pathology that could prevent a woman from having UFE, and avoid ineffective treatments. The number of women requiring retreatment after UFE in the registry is similar to the surgical reintervention rates, of approximately five percent per year, following myomectomy.

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