Endovascular management of recurrent hemarthrosis of the knee: a case series

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Background: Recurrent hemarthrosis of the knee is an uncommon but potentially debilitating occurrence with multiple etiologies, including previous total knee replacement. The purpose of this study is to present data of a group of patients undergoing angiography and embolization for recurrent hemarthrosis of the knee. Patient characteristics, angiographic findings, safety and efficacy of the procedure are reported. Methods: A retrospective single centre review of patients undergoing angiography and embolization at a tertiary referral centre in Sydney, Australia from March 2006 to April 2018 was performed. A total of 25 patients undergoing a total of 29 procedures were identified (20 female, 5 male; mean age 67), the majority of which (23/25, 92%) had a history of total knee arthroplasty. Embolization was performed in 28 of the 29 procedures (97%). The embolic agent used was either polyvinyl alcohol particles (23/28), gelatin foam (3/28), detachable microcoils (1/28) or a combination of particles and coils (1/28). Results: The most commonly identified dominant vascular abnormality was periarticular synovial hypervascularity (23/25, 92%). A pseudoaneurysm was demonstrated in two patients (8%). Technical success (elimination of angiographic abnormalities) was achieved in 27 of 29 procedures (93%). There were 6 episodes of recurrence (25%) following a single embolization procedure, three of which were managed successfully with repeat embolization. There were no complications relating to skin or periarticular ischemia. Conclusion: Angiography and embolization is a safe and effective tool for the management of recurrent hemarthrosis of the knee following arthroplasty and should be considered first line treatment following failure of conservative management. Level of evidence: Level 4, Case Series.




Pow, R., Fritsch, B., Waugh, R., & Rogan, C. (2020). Endovascular management of recurrent hemarthrosis of the knee: a case series. CVIR Endovascular, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42155-020-00135-0

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