Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology Report Highlights Benefits of Different Access Approach to Treat Women's Noncancerous Growths; Could Be "Game Changer" for Image-guided Minimally Invasive Treatments, Improving Patient Comfort

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With Flip of Wrist, Interventional Radiologists Treat Uterine Fibroids

Local interviews and medical illustrations are available by contacting SIR's communications department staff: Ellen Acconcia, SIR manager, website and communications,, (703) 460-5582, or Maryann Verrillo, SIR director of communications and public relations,, (703) 460-5572.

FAIRFAX, Va., March 5, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Interventional

radiologists have devised a new way to access a woman's fibroids-by

flipping her wrist and treating via an arm not groin artery-to

nonsurgically shrink noncancerous growths in the muscular wall of the

uterus. Researchers found this to be less painful and traumatic for

women, allowing them to immediately sit up and move after uterine

fibroid embolization (UFE)-with no overnight stay, according to a

March article in the Society of Interventional Radiology's flagship

publication, the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.

"Improving patient care and providing advanced treatment options are

always on the minds of interventional radiologists. And this could be

a game changer for image-guided minimally invasive treatments," said

Aaron M. Fischman, M.D., an interventional radiologist and assistant

professor of radiology and surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in

New York. Mount Sinai researchers studied the access treatment favored

by cardiologists for coronary interventions-and applied it to a

minimally invasive treatment for women's uterine fibroids. By flipping

access for treatment from the artery in the groin to the artery in the

wrist, the researchers said that the women experienced less pain and

trauma than the traditional groin technique-opening the door to

potential savings in health care costs. Complications related to

bleeding at the puncture site are also significantly reduced using

this novel approach. Patients are able to walk immediately after

treatment, which dramatically improves their experience. "This is just

the beginning," he added, indicating that this technique may also pave

the way toward improving other interventional radiology

treatments-including those for cancer patients.

Fischman said that his team wanted to explore options that were more

comfortable and beneficial for patients undergoing UFE, a nonsurgical

interventional radiology treatment for women that cuts off blood flow

to painful fibroids to kill the noncancerous tumors. "Few reports in

the literature have explored this application to interventional

radiology treatments. This is the first reported use of transradial

access for UFE," Fischman added.

Uterine fibroids, which affect up to 40 percent of all women 35 and

older, can cause prolonged, heavy menstrual bleeding that can be

severe enough to cause anemia or require transfusion; disabling pelvic

pain and pressure; urinary frequency; pain during intercourse; and

miscarriage. Typically, interventional radiologists have delivered

treatment directly to the fibroid-by threading a catheter through a

woman's femoral artery in her thigh. In this new approach, the

interventional radiologists threaded a catheter through one of two

arteries in a woman's left wrist. They then made a tiny nick in the

skin, less than one-fourth of an inch, and inserted a catheter into

the artery. Using real-time imaging, the doctor guided the catheter

through the artery and then released tiny particles, the size of

grains of sand, into the uterine arteries that supply blood to the

fibroid tumor. This blocked the blood flow to the fibroid tumor and

caused it to shrink and symptoms to subside.

Women seeking UFE at Mount Sinai were presented both access options,

said Fischman. His team treated 29 women (ages 23-56, some with benign

tumors the size of a grapefruit) from March through October 2013.

Fischman said that their findings suggest that wrist (transradial) UFE

offers a safe and effective alternative to groin (transfemoral) UFE.

He indicated that a much larger prospective, randomized trial is

needed to validate conclusions about specific benefits of this novel

approach. He noted that interventional radiologists will need to be

trained in this new access. In addition to presenting this study,

Fischman will be leading workshops on this new technology at the

Society of Interventional Radiology's Annual Scientific Meeting March

22-27 in San Diego.

Nonsurgical UFE is a major advance in women's health, and women should

be aware of all of their fibroid treatment options, said Fischman. UFE

is widely available and covered by medical insurance. SIR identifies

interventional radiologists with expertise in this area in its online

doctor directory. More information about SIR, interventional

radiologists, uterine fibroids and UFE can be found online at

"Uterine Artery Embolization Using a Transradial Approach: Initial

Experience and Technique," which appears in the March issue of the

Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology , was co-written by

Fischman, along with Neil J. Resnick, M.D.; Edward Kim, M.D,; Rahul S.

Patel, M.D.; Robert A. Lookstein, M.D., FSIR; and F. Scott Nowakowski,

M.D., FSIR , all at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, N.Y. All are

SIR members.

About the Society of Interventional Radiology Interventional

radiologists are physicians who specialize in minimally invasive,

targeted treatments. They offer the most in-depth knowledge of the

least invasive treatments available coupled with diagnostic and

clinical experience across all specialties. They use X-ray, MRI and

other imaging to advance a catheter in the body, such as in an artery,

to treat at the source of the disease internally. As the inventors of

angioplasty and the catheter-delivered stent, which were first used in

the legs to treat peripheral arterial disease, interventional

radiologists pioneered minimally invasive modern medicine. Many

conditions that once required surgery can be treated less invasively

by interventional radiologists. Interventional radiology treatments

offer less risk, less pain and less recovery time compared to open

surgery. Visit

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SOURCE Society of Interventional Radiology

-0- 03/05/2014

/CONTACT: Maryann Verrillo, (703) 460-5572; Ellen Acconcia, (703) 460-5582;


/Web Site:

CO: Society of Interventional Radiology

ST: Virginia




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