Issue N# 4 - 2004
Treatment of severe epistaxis by superselective embolization: A review of 22 cases
Authors : G. Ricci, E. Molini, M. Hamam, A. Ciorba, G. Altissimi, S. Campanella, A. Fiacca, G. Pelliccioli (Perugia)
Ref. : Rev Laryngol Otol Rhinol. 2004;125,4:247-251.
Article published in english
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Objectives: Epistaxis represents one of the most common ENT emergencies. In this paper, the authors report their experience in treating some cases of severe epistaxis by superselective embolization of the afferent vessels of the nasal fossae. Patients and methods: A retrospective study of 22 patients with severe recurrent epistaxis (1 anterior and 21 posterior). All patients had been treated unsuccessfully with repeated anteroposterior nasal packing, and presented significant secondary anaemia. Selective embolization procedures were performed under local anaesthesia. An arterial introducer is inserted into the femoral artery –generally the right one– and diagnosis as well as treatment are performed with the same guide catheter. In all cases, the terminal branches of the facial artery and of the internal maxillary artery on the side on which the haemorrhage occurred were embolized. Moreover the contralateral internal maxillary artery was always embolized as well, in order to prevent immediate recurrence of hypervascularisation of the mucosa through anastomotic paths. Results: In all patients, complete devascularisation was achieved in the areas of the embolized arteries at the nasal mucous membranes, arresting the epistaxis. None of the cases experienced complications attributable to treatment. Discussion and conclusion: Superselective arteriography with embolization can be considered as the method of choice in treating severe epistaxis because it can be performed under local anaesthesia and can easily be repeated if the first procedure is not successful. Moreover, it is at least as effective as ligation of the internal maxillary artery, if not more so, but it has a significantly lower complication rate which is destined to fall as the quality of the materials being used continues to improve.
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