Gynaecology/Obstetrics Unit, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, 20132, Milan, Italy. firstname.lastname@example.org. Gynaecology/Obstetrics Unit, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, 20132, Milan, Italy. Pathologic Anatomy Unit, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, 20132, Milan, Italy.
PURPOSE Uterine arteriovenous malformations (UAVM) are rare vascular lesions characterized by an abnormal arteriovenous communication between the branches of uterine artery and the myometrial venous plexus. UAVM can be a serious cause of massive post-partum hemorrhage (PPH) leading to potentially life-threatening anemic shock. This review aims to summarize main experiences on clinical presentation and management of UAVM in the setting
of unexplained PPH. METHODS A systematic review of the literature in Scopus, PubMed and MEDLINE was conducted. A case report of a PPH UAVM-related in a patient managed at the authors' center is also provided. RESULTS Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria. The mean age of cases was 30. In 3/11 cases, previous uterine surgeries were reported and 72.7% cases gave birth by cesarean section. Nine cases had a secondary PPH (24 h up to 12 week post-partum), whereas only one case had a primary PPH. Our case report had both a primary and a secondary PPH. Reported vaginal bleedings were profuse and blood loss entity ranged from 1000 to 2000 ml. In all cases a color Doppler ultrasound was performed first to suspect UAVM and in 10/11 cases a subsequent pelvic angiography confirmed the diagnosis of UAVM as leading cause of the unexplained PPH. In 81.8% cases a conservative management by uterine artery embolization (UAE) was adopted: bilateral UAE was always successful; in 1 out of 2 cases treated by unilateral UEA, emergency total hysterectomy was performed for a sudden hemodynamic instability. CONCLUSION Maternal mortality pregnancy-correlated is a major health concern worldwide, mostly due by PPH. UAVM should be considered in clinical practice among possible causes of unexplained PPH.