Choriocarcinoma is a highly malignant tumor but with a good prognosis due to the valid response to systemic chemotherapy. We present a case of a young woman affected by a giant pelvic arterio-venous fistula following a metastatic gestational choriocarcinoma, conditioning metrorrhagia and pulmonary embolism, successfully treated by multimodal transcatheter embolization, using a simultaneous transarterial and transvenous approach.
In a young patient affected by choriocarcinoma and metrorrhagia, a computed tomography showed a giant arterio-venous fistula, pulmonary metastases and embolism. A transfemoral diagnostic arteriography showed a giant arterio-venous fistula sustained by right and left hypogastric arteries with early opacification of the right gonadal vein and of the inferior vena cava. A transarterial embolization of the distal branches of hypogastric arteries with poly-vinyl-alcohol particles, coils and Squid was performed. A transfemoral phlebography of the right gonadal vein showed multiple thrombi, responsible of the pulmonary embolism. An Amplatzer plug via trans-jugular was finally placed at the confluence of the gonadal vein in the vena cava, to reduce arterio-venous fistula out-flow and to occlude the vein, preventing further episodes of pulmonary embolism. Metrorrhagia progressively disappeared. A second transarterial embolization combined with a complete response to systemic chemotherapy determined arterio-venous fistula resolution.
This was a very rare case of a giant pelvic arterio-venous fistula following choriocarcinoma in a patient symptomatic for metrorrhagia with an accidental finding of pulmonary embolism at computed tomography. A transcatheter embolization was successfully performed with different embolic materials, using a simultaneous transarterial and transvenous approach: the goal was not only to obtain metrorrhagia resolution but also to avoid a massive pulmonary embolism, a potential life threatening condition, in a young woman affected by a highly malignant tumor but with a good prognosis.