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SIR: Uterine Artery Embolization Is Effective

Radiology treatment may be alternative for women who fail focused ultrasound treatment

THURSDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- In women who have failed focused ultrasound treatment for symptomatic uterine fibroids, uterine artery embolization -- a minimally invasive interventional radiology treatment -- may provide significant relief, according to research presented this week at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Alisa Suzuki, M.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues studied seven patients (mean age 46.9) who experienced therapeutic failure and subsequently received uterine artery embolization.

The researchers found that the patients' mean volume of leiomyomata increased by 12 percent after focused ultrasound treatment (from 234 cc to 282 cc). They found that the mean volume of leiomyomata decreased by 37 percent after uterine artery embolization (from 282 cc to 179 cc) and that all seven patients experienced significant improvements in menorrhagia, bulk and pelvic pressure.

"Women should ask for a consult with an interventional radiologist who can determine from MRI whether they are candidates for either procedure," Suzuki said in a statement. "We have experience in treating fibroids, access to exciting new technologies and are happy to discuss various options with patients."

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