Acta radiologica (Stockholm, Sweden : 1987) vol:44 issue:1 pages:13-7
PURPOSE: Biopsy-related vascular injuries in renal transplants are rare, but they can lead to dramatic clinical symptoms prompting immediate treatment. Transcatheter embolization is a known minimally invasive technique to treat some form of arterial bleeding. This study evaluated the efficacy of this technique in iatrogenic biopsy-related vascular lesions in renal allografts. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Between 1993 and 2001, 13 patients were treated by percutaneous transcatheter intervention. Indications for embolization were hypovolemic shock due to perinephric hematoma (n = 5), persistent macroscopic hematuria (n = 7) and an asymptomatic large intrarenal pseudoaneurysm in 1 patient. Selective angiography revealed an arteriovenous fistula (n = 7), a pseudoaneurysm (n = 6), and perinephric contrast extravasation (n = 4). RESULTS: In all patients, successful embolization of the feeding artery could be performed; in 11 patients it was performed in one session, in 2 patients an additional session was needed. In 1 patient thrombosis of a segmental artery occurred immediately after embolization, but was successfully treated by short-term in situ thrombolysis. Clinical symptoms disappeared in all patients. Serum creatinine levels (determined 30 and 60 days after embolization, compared to the level before embolization) decreased significantly in 10 patients; a progressive deterioration of the renal function was observed in 3 patients. CONCLUSIONS: Transcatheter embolization is a safe and effective endovascular technique to treat biopsy-related vascular injuries in renal transplants. In the vast majority of cases an immediate clinical success and significant benefit in renal function can be obtained and the longevity of the allograft after successful embolization mainly depends on the natural (medical) outcome.