Pelvic Blood Flow Predicts Fibroid Volume and Embolic Required for Uterine Fibroid Embolization: A Pilot Study With 4D Flow MR Angiography AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ROENTGENOLOGY Malone, C. D., Banerjee, A., Alley, M. T., Vasanawala, S. S., Roberts, A. C., Hsiao, A. 2018; 210 (1): 189–200


We report here an initial experience using 4D flow MRI in pelvic imaging-specifically, in imaging uterine fibroids. We hypothesized that blood flow might correlate with fibroid volume and that quantifying blood flow might help to predict the amount of embolic required to achieve stasis at subsequent uterine fibroid embolization (UFE).Thirty-three patients with uterine fibroids and seven control subjects underwent pelvic MRI with 4D flow imaging. Of the patients with fibroids, 10 underwent 4D flow imaging before UFE and seven after UFE; in the remaining 16 patients with fibroids, UFE had yet to be performed. Four-dimensional flow measurements were performed using Arterys CV Flow. The flow fraction of the internal iliac artery was expressed as the ratio of internal iliac artery flow to external iliac artery flow and was compared between groups. The flow ratios between the internal iliac arteries on each side were calculated. Fibroid volume versus internal iliac flow fraction, embolic volume versus internal iliac flow fraction, and embolic volume ratio between sides versus the ratio of internal iliac artery flows between sides were compared.The mean internal iliac flow fraction was significantly higher in the 26 patients who underwent imaging before UFE (mean ± standard error, 0.78 ± 0.06) than in the seven patients who underwent imaging after UFE (0.48 ± 0.07, p < 0.01) and in the seven control patients without fibroids (0.48 ± 0.08, p < 0.0001). The internal iliac flow fraction correlated well with fibroid volumes before UFE (r = 0.7754, p < 0.0001) and did not correlate with fibroid volumes after UFE (r = -0.3051, p = 0.51). The ratio of embolic required to achieve stasis between sides showed a modest correlation with the ratio of internal iliac flow (r = 0.6776, p = 0.03).Internal iliac flow measured by 4D flow MRI correlates with fibroid volume and is predictive of the ratio of embolic required to achieve stasis on each side at subsequent UFE and may be useful for preprocedural evaluation of patients with uterine fibroids.

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