Symptomatic uterine fibroids: Treatment with uterine artery embolization or hysterectomy – results from the randomized clinical Embolisation versus Hysterectomy (EMMY) Trial – Source: Radiology, Mar 2008

Purpose: To prospectively evaluate health-related quality of life (HRQOL) outcomes for uterine artery embolization (UAE) and hysterectomy up to 24 months after the intervention in terms of mental and physical health, urinary and defecatory function, and overall patient satisfaction.

Materials and Methods: Ethics committee approval and informed consent were obtained for the Embolization versus Hysterectomy Trial. Women (n = 177) with uterine fibroids and heavy menstrual bleeding who were scheduled to undergo hysterectomy were randomly assigned to undergo UAE (n = 88) or hysterectomy (n = 89).

HRQOL was measured six times during a 24-month follow-up period with the following validated questionnaires: Medical Outcome Study Short Form 36 (SF-36) mental component summary (MCS) and physical component summary (PCS), Health Utilities Index Mark 3, EuroQol 5D, urogenital distress inventory (UDI), incontinence impact questionnaire, and defecation distress inventory (DDI). Satisfaction was assessed with a seven-point Likert scale.

Repeated measurement analysis was performed for between-group analysis. Paired t tests were performed for within-group analysis. Satisfaction was analyzed with the Fisher exact test.

Results: The SF-36 MCS and PCS, Health Utilities Index Mark 3, EuroQol 5D, and UDI scores were improved significantly in both groups at 6 months and afterward (P < .05). The DDI score was improved significantly in only the UAE group at 6 months and afterward (P < .05).

No differences between groups were observed, with the exception of PCS scores at 6-week follow-up: Patients in the UAE group had significantly better scores than did patients in the hysterectomy group (P < .001).

Improvement in PCS score at 24-month follow-up was significantly higher for patients who were employed at baseline (P = .035). At 24-month follow-up, patients in the hysterectomy group were significantly more satisfied than those in the UAE group (P = .02).


  • Both UAE and hysterectomy improved HRQOL.

  • No differences were observed between groups regarding HRQOL at 24-month follow-up.

  • On the basis of HRQOL results, the authors determined that UAE is a good alternative to hysterectomy.

Source: Radiology. March 2008;246(3):823-32. PMID: 18187401, by Hehenkamp WJ, Volkers NA, Birnie E, Reekers JA, Ankum WM. Department of Gynecology, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. [E-mail:]

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