This retrospective study was approved by our institutional review board (approval number: I 21–57), which waived the requirement for informed consent for the use of patient data.


We reviewed 23 patients who underwent ET for delayed hemorrhage after pancreatic operations between October 1, 2013, and December 31, 2021, at our institution. Among them, 19 patients (15 men, 4 women; age: 69.84 ± 7.79 years) met our eligibility criteria, which comprised ET at the hepatic artery for hemorrhage occurring more than 24 h after pancreaticoduodenectomy or distal pancreatectomy. Four patients were excluded from this study according to the following exclusion criteria: splenic artery embolization for delayed PPH with CTA findings of pseudoaneurysm or extravasation (n = 3); not undergoing CTA before and after ET (n = 1).

ET for HA-PPH was decided based on CTA findings of pseudoaneurysm, extravasation, or irregular vessel shape with clinical hemodynamic instability.

CT protocol

CTA images were obtained either using a 64-channel scanner (Brilliance, Phillips Healthcare, Cleveland, OH, USA) or a 320-channel scanner (Aquilion ONE, Canon Medical Systems, Otawara, Japan). The parameters for CT were as follows: 120 kVp; 250 mAs; rotation time, 0.5 s; pitch, 0.64 or 0.81; detector collimation, 64 × 0.62 or 80 × 0.50 mm; and scanning field of view (FOV), 350 or 320 mm.

The CTA protocol comprised non-contrast arterial and delayed phases of the whole abdomen (Table 1). Subsequently, an automatic power injector was used to administer a bolus of 600 mgI/kg of iodine contrast medium at a rate of 3.0–5.0 mL/s for 30 s. The contrast media included iohexol (iohexol 300 injection; Hikari Pharma, Tokyo, Japan) and iopamidol (iopamidol 370 or 300 injection; Fuji Pharma, Tokyo, Japan).

Table 1 CT angiography protocol

The arterial phase was obtained at 10 s after reaching 150 Hounsfield units, with the region of interest being situated on the aorta, at the level of the celiac artery. Further, the delayed phase was obtained at 90 s after administering the iodine contrast medium. All CTA images were obtained at end of inspiration. CTA axial and coronal images were reconstructed at a slice thickness of 1 and 2 mm for evaluation. Subsequently, we analyzed the vessels using SYNAPSE VINCENT (Fujifilm, Tokyo, Japan). All 19 patients underwent presurgical, pre-ET (within 1 week before ET), and post-ET CTAs.

Endovascular therapy

After local anesthesia, a 4- or 5-Fr sheath was inserted into the common femoral artery. Superior mesenteric artery (SMA) and celiac artery (CA) angiograms were obtained using 4- or 5-Fr angiographic catheters. The bleeding site and hepatic artery anatomy were confirmed using angiography. The pseudoaneurysm, parent artery of the pseudoaneurysm, or irregular vessel section related to the hemorrhage was tightly embolized using detachable coils (Target XXL, XL, soft, Stryker, Michigan, USA; Interlock, Boston Scientific, Massachusetts, USA; ED COIL, Kaneka Medical Products, Tokyo, Japan) and/or n-butyl-2-cyanoacrylate ([NBCA] Histoacryl, B. Braun, Hessen, Germany) using a microcatheter, at the operator’s discretion.

When using an SG, a 6-Fr or 7-Fr guiding sheath was inserted into the common femoral artery. Subsequently, an SG (VIABAHN; W. L. Gore & Associates, Delaware, USA) with a size of 6 mm × 2.5 cm or 7 mm × 2.5 cm was deployed at the parent artery of the pseudoaneurysm, followed by post-dilation with a balloon catheter.


Technical success was defined by the disappearance of the pseudoaneurysm, extravasation, or irregular vessel shape on the post-ET angiogram. Discharge without arterial re-bleeding after ET was considered as a clinical success. Hemoglobin level, need for red blood cell transfusion, hospitalization period, and administration of intensive care unit were also assessed post-ET. Further, during the follow-up period after the discharge, late adverse events on CTA and the mortality rate were evaluated.

Hepatic dysfunction and radiological image findings after ET were evaluated, along with post-ET blood levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT). The maximum values of AST and ALT levels after ET were used for analysis. Criteria for Adverse Events version 5.0 and adverse events graded as ≥ 3 were regarded as significant (National cancer institute, 2022).

HAO was assessed on SMA and CA angiograms obtained immediately after ET. HAO was defined as the disappearance of arterial flow from the proper hepatic artery or both the right and left hepatic arteries (Fig. 1). Delayed HAO was also evaluated on CTA during the follow-up period.

Fig. 1
figure 1

The common hepatic artery branched from the superior mesenteric artery; additionally, a pseudoaneurysm was observed in the proper hepatic artery (white arrow). Tight coil embolization was performed, which led to total occlusion of the native hepatic arterial flow (white arrowhead). Stent-graft placement was not performed due to the fact that the common hepatic artery branched with acute bending. In this case, a brachial approach might be effective if stent grafts are used

Portal vein stenosis > 50% on pre-ET CTA was considered as significant (Mine et al. 2014). Portal vein stenosis rate was defined as follows: portal vein stenosis rate = portal vein diameter on presurgical CTA- portal vein diameter on pre-ET CTA / portal vein diameter on presurgical CTA × 100. Hepatic infarction and abscess after ET were evaluated as adverse events during the same hospitalization period. Hepatic infarction was defined as an ill-defined wedge-shaped area of hypoattenuation on CTA without a mass effect on adjacent structures (Fig. 2). Hepatic abscess was also defined as a combination of presence of a hypoattenuation area with ring-enhancement on CTA and clinical symptoms of infection. Hepatic infarction and abscess were assessed according to the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE) classification system, and higher than grade 3 was considered significant (Filippiadis et al. 2017).

Fig. 2
figure 2

Hepatic infarction at segments 2 and 3 was observed in case 6 on the arterial and delayed phases of CTA after endovascular therapy

Firstly, the possibility of an accessory hepatic artery and existing EHC that supply hepatic segments prior to ET was assessed on presurgical CTA images. Secondly, two interventional radiologists (Y.N. and K.M.) assessed EHC from the LGA, RIPA, left inferior phrenic artery (LIPA), right internal thoracic artery (RITA), left internal thoracic artery (LITA), renal artery (RA), omental artery (OA), intercostal artery (IA), and branch of superior mesenteric artery (BSMA) on angiographic and pre-ET and post-ET CTA images. EHC was defined by the appearance of a connection between these arteries and the intrahepatic arteries on abdominal angiography and/or post-ET CTA images, compared with presurgical CTA images (Fig. 3). Especially, EHC from LIPA, RITA, LITA, RA, OA, IA, and BSMA was defined as supplemental EHC.

Fig. 3
figure 3

The right internal thoracic artery was connected to the intrahepatic artery through Sappey’s superior artery on the coronal (a), axial (b), and oblique (c) post-ET CTA images in case 5

Statistical analysis

Continuous and categorical variables were analyzed using the Mann–Whitney U test and Fisher’s exact test, respectively. Statistical analyses were performed using the R software environment for statistical computing ( Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05 (Kanda et al. 2013).

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