Professor, Director of Research Laboratory of Reproductive Genetics. Resident Doctor. Research Assistant. Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Shunde Hospital of Southern Medical University (The First People's Hospital of Shunde), Foshan, Guangdong, China.
IMPORTANCE Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is an emergent obstetric complication and the leading cause of maternal mortality. Pelvic arterial embolization (PAE) is an effective treatment for intractable PPH. However, a unique protocol has not been accepted in obstetrical practice. OBJECTIVE To evaluate its efficiency, safety, complications, and outcomes, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of PAE for PPH in the
literature. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION The Medline, the database of abstract of reviews, the index to allied health literature, and the Chinese database Sino-Med were searched on March 31, 2020, for studies on PAE for PPH. The data for PAE indication, agents, arteries, success rate, complications, and outcomes were extracted and syncretized for meta-analysis. RESULTS From 1075 identified articles, 113 abstracts or full articles were retrieved and 43 studies were finally identified as meeting the including criteria. The results demonstrated that the indications for PAE were as follows: uterine atony, placental abnormality, delivery tract injury, disseminated intravascular coagulation, arteriovenous malformation, and vaginal hematoma. The embolization agents mostly in order were gelatin sponge particles, polyvinyl alcohol particles, Gelfoam, N-butyl cyanoacrylate, microcoil, and glue; for arteries, they were mostly uterine artery and internal iliac artery. The clinical success rate was 90.5%, whereas the technical success rate was 99.3%. The most common complications of PAE were postembolization syndrome and menstrual abnormality. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE The emergent PAE is a safe and effective method with high success rate in life-threatening PPH management. Gelatin sponge granules measuring 500 to 1000 μm in diameter have safe results. Pelvic arterial embolization may affect the recovery of menses and increase PPH in the subsequent pregnancy, but there was no noted correlation with fetal growth restriction.