BACKGROUND Maxillofacial trauma accounts for ~10% of trauma presentations to most centres, with massive haemorrhage occurring in 1.2-4.5% of cases. Despite its infrequent presentation, there is significant associated morbidity and mortality. Transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) is playing an increasingly prominent role in trauma presentations. The aim of this article was to compare outcomes of TAE with more traditional management methods
for the treatment of massive facial haemorrhage following maxillofacial trauma. METHODS A database and Google Scholar search was performed, with articles discussing massive facial haemorrhage secondary to maxillofacial trauma and its management included. RESULTS Twenty-seven articles were found that met inclusion criteria, encompassing 384 patients. Statistical testing comparing mortality between TAE and non-TAE groups did not find a significant difference, with a mortality rate of 30.2% in the TAE group and 38.9% in the non-TAE group. Assessment of morbidity directly related to interventions was difficult, as many of the included participants had significant associated injuries which contributed an indeterminate degree to morbidity. There was a 10% rate of adverse events associated with TAE, most commonly puncture site haematomas and soft tissue swelling, with more significant adverse events including cerebrovascular accidents and blindness. CONCLUSION Embolization was correlated with increased rates of haemorrhage control when compared with other interventions. Overall, despite no significant impact on mortality, embolization is recommended in the management of massive haemorrhage following maxillofacial trauma due to improved success rates at haemorrhage control and a low rate of significant adverse events.