The Ontario Uterine Fibroid Embolization Trial. Part 1. Baseline patient characteristics, fibroid burden, and impact on life

Gaylene Pron, Ph.D., Marsha Cohen, M.D.,b Jennifer Soucie, M.Sc., Greg Garvin, M.D., Leslie Vanderburgh, M.D., and Stuart Bell, M.D. for the Ontario Uterine Fibroid Embolization Collaborative Group

Objective: To determine baseline characteristics of women undergoing uterine artery embolization (UAE) for symptomatic fibroids.

Design: Multicenter, prospective, single-arm clinical treatment trial.

Setting: Eight Ontario university and community hospitals.

Patient(s): Five hundred fifty-five women undergoing UAE for fibroids.

Intervention(s): Baseline questionnaires completed before UAE.

Main Outcome Measure(s): Questionnaires were analyzed for demographic, medical, and gynecologic histories. Fibroid symptoms, impact of symptoms, previous consultations, and treatments were also analyzed.

Result(s): The Ontario cohort (66% white, 23% black, 11% other races) had an average age of 43. Thirty-one percent were under age 40. Most women were university educated (68%) and working outside the home (85%). Women reported heavy menstrual bleeding (80%), urinary urgency/frequency (73%), pain during intercourse (41%), and work absences (40%). They experienced fibroid-related symptoms for an average of 5 years and consulted with on average of three gynecologists before UAE. High fibroid life-impact scores were reported by 58%. Black women were significantly younger (40.7 vs. 44.0 years), more likely to experience symptoms longer (7 vs. 5 years), and more likely to undergo myomectomy before UAE (24% vs. 9%) than white women.

Conclusion(s): Our study illustrates that large numbers of women with highly symptomatic fibroid disease are averse to surgery despite their burden of suffering and are actively seeking alternatives to hysterectomy. (Fertil Steril 2003;79:112–9. ©2003 by American Society for Reproductive Medicine.)