Publicaciones científicas

Primary and secondary postpartum haemorrhage: a review for a rationale endovascular approach

13-feb-2024 | Revista: CVIR Endovascular

Alberto Alonso-Burgos  1 , Ignacio Díaz-Lorenzo  2 , Laura Muñoz-Saá  3 , Guillermo Gallardo  4 , Teresa Castellanos  3 , Regina Cardenas  3 , Luis Chiva de Agustín  3


Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is a significant cause of maternal mortality globally, necessitating prompt and efficient management.

This review provides a comprehensive exploration of endovascular treatment dimensions for both primary and secondary PPH, with a focus on uterine atony, trauma, placenta accreta spectrum (PAS), and retained products of conception (RPOC).

Primary PPH, occurring within 24 h, often results from uterine atony in 70% of causes, but also from trauma, or PAS. Uterine atony involves inadequate myometrial contraction, addressed through uterine massage, oxytocin, and, if needed, mechanical modalities like balloon tamponade.

Trauma-related PPH may stem from perineal injuries or pseudoaneurysm rupture, while PAS involves abnormal placental adherence. PAS demands early detection due to associated life-threatening bleeding during delivery. Secondary PPH, occurring within 24 h to 6 weeks postpartum, frequently arises from RPOC. Medical management may include uterine contraction drugs and hemostatic agents, but invasive procedures like dilation and curettage (D&C) or hysteroscopic resection may be required.

Imaging assessments, particularly through ultrasound (US), play a crucial role in the diagnosis and treatment planning of postpartum haemorrhage (PPH), except for uterine atony, where imaging techniques prove to be of limited utility in its management. Computed tomography play an important role in evaluation of trauma related PPH cases and MRI is essential in diagnosing and treatment planning of PAS and RPOC.

Uterine artery embolization (UAE) has become a standard intervention for refractory PPH, offering a rapid, effective, and safe alternative to surgery with a success rate exceeding 85% (Rand T. et al. CVIR Endovasc 3:1-12, 2020). The technical approach involves non-selective uterine artery embolization with resorbable gelatine sponge (GS) in semi-liquid or torpedo presentation as the most extended embolic or calibrated microspheres. Selective embolization is warranted in cases with identifiable bleeding points or RPOC with AVM-like angiographic patterns and liquid embolics could be a good option in this scenario. UAE in PAS requires a tailored approach, considering the degree of placental invasion. A thorough understanding of female pelvis vascular anatomy and collateral pathways is essential for accurate and safe UAE.

In conclusion, integrating interventional radiology techniques into clinical guidelines for primary and secondary PPH management and co-working during labour is crucial.

CITA DEL ARTÍCULO  CVIR Endovasc. 2024 Feb 13;7(1):17. doi: 10.1186/s42155-024-00429-7