Uterine artery embolization (UAE) is an emerging minimally invasive technology for reducing symptoms from uterine fibroids. It was first introduced in 1995 as an alternative technique for treating fibroids. 1 Since then, more than 100 000 procedures have been carried out worldwide, mainly in the USA and the Western Europe. 2 In the UK, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidance in October 2004 that UAE could be used in routine practice as there is symptomatic benefit in the majority of patients in the short term. 3 A subsequent NICE guideline published in January 2007 recommends UAE, along with surgery, to be considered as first-line treatment. 4 However, a Cochrane review on UAE emphasizes the need for longer term and larger randomized controlled trials of UAE vs surgical treatments, as this information is crucial to determine the long-term efficacy and safety of the procedure. 5
The aim of this chapter is to review the available literature on uterine artery embolization and provide some guidelines for its use in clinical practice.