n SA Journal of Radiology - Endovascular treatment of intractable epistaxis - results of a 4-year local audit : original article

Volume 8, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1027-202X
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6778



A total of 57 endovascular embolisation procedures were performed for intractable epistaxis in 51 patients over a 4-year period at the Unitas Interventional Unit near Pretoria. Long-term follow-up was possible in 36 patients. Three cases were due to trauma and 2 directly related to previous facial surgery, 1 patient had hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), and the remaining 45 cases (88.2%) were classed as idiopathic. Eight patients (15.7%) had a rebleed between 1 and 33 days after the initial embolisation. Four were re-embolised once, 1 was re-embolised twice (the HHT patient), and 2 underwent additional ethmoid artery ligation (with no further bleeding). This gives a primary short-term success rate (in all 51 cases) of 86.3% and a secondary assisted success rate of 94.1% for embolisation alone. Long-term follow- up was obtained in 36 patients, with 35 (97.2%) reporting no further bleeding after the initial procedure(s). Only the patient with HHT developed multiple recurrent bleeds. The mortality rate was 0%, the major morbidity rate 2% (1 stroke), and the minor morbidity rate 25% (N = 36), which included transient facial pain, headaches and femoral problems related to access. Our results compare favourably with other published series. In conclusion, endovascular embolisation for intractable epistaxis is available locally as an alternative technique for the treatment of this difficult condition. Introduction

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