An Agenda for Research Into Uterine Artery Embolization
Results of an Expert Panel Conference
Published in: Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, v. 11, no. 4, Apr. 2000, p. 509-515
Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1999
PURPOSE: To develop a research agenda for uterine artery embolization (UAE) for the treatment of symptomatic leiomyomata. MATERIALS AND METHODS: An expert panel was convened to examine data and develop a consensus for UAE research. Panelists reviewed data from articles about UAE and data on hysterectomy and myomectomy, which were abstracted into evidence tables. A modified Delphi process was used to rate the importance of measuring specific outcomes and a nominal group process was used to develop ideas for study designs. RESULTS: Panelists agreed that UAE studies would have to examine certain key measures. Outcomes identified as either important to measure or essential to measure were death, reoperation, operative injury, menorrhagia, premature menopause, recurrence of myomata, and satisfaction. The panel proposed four areas for research: randomized trial, prospective registry, disease-specific quality-of-life instrument, and cost analysis. CONCLUSIONS: Symptomatic uterine leiomyomata are a major health concern for women. New techniques that promise to provide symptom relief deserve careful consideration. Traditionally, surgical procedures have been poorly studied until after they have been widely used. If the process described in this article can guide the acquisition of knowledge in this field, it may serve as a model for evaluating other new technologies before they become widely adopted.