Last updated on February 2018

Intrauterine Balloon Therapy to Prevent the Recurrence of Intrauterine Adhesions

Brief description of study

In this prospective, randomized, controlled study, the investigators wish to determine the efficacy of intrauterine balloon (IUB) dilatation in the prevention of adhesion reformation when compared with the conventional management.

Detailed Study Description


The patients will be recruited from the Hysteroscopy Center of the Fuxing Hospital, Beijing, China. Before the surgery all patients with suspected Asherman syndrome will undergo preoperative evaluations, including a detailed history of the menstrual pattern, any previous intrauterine surgery, and reproductive history, as well as trans-vaginal ultrasonography. The severity and extent of intrauterine adhesions will be scored according to a classification system recommended by the American Fertility Society (AFS) (1988 version). The inclusion criteria include [1] women aged 18-40 years; [2] moderate to severe intrauterine adhesion (AFS score5); [3] first episode of hysteroscopic adhesiolysis in FuXcing hospital; [4] written consent obtained; and [5] agreement to have second-look and an optional third-look hysteroscopy. The exclusion criteria include [1] minimal adhesion (AFS score <5) and [2] previous hysteroscopic adhesiolysis in FuXing hospital.

Study Design

After the completion of hysteroscopic adhesiolysis, recruited patients will be randomized to one of the two treatment groups by computer-generated numbers: [1] having a Foley-catheter intrauterine balloon dilatation 2 weeks and 6 weeks after hysteroscopic adhesiolysis; [2] the control group without any additional treatment. A second-look hysteroscopy will be carried out in the early proliferative phase 4 weeks after the surgery and an optional third-look hysteroscopy will be carried out 8 weeks after the surgery.

Power Calculation

On the basis of the results of the two published retrospective cohort studies comparing the balloon and hormone therapy group (control group) in the prevention of adhesion reformation, we estimate that the adhesion reformation rate in the balloon group to be 20% and in the control group to be 45%. Accepting a type 1 error of 0.05, and a type 2 error of 0.10, the number of subjects in each arm of the randomized, controlled trial would be 79. Assuming that the dropout rate to be 20%, the total number of subject to be recruited would be 100 in each arm.


Surgical procedure

The surgery will be carried out by one of three experienced hysteroscopic surgeons with the use of a 8.5-mm rigid hysteroscope (Olympus) with 0.9% normal saline infusion under 120 mmHg pressure. The procedure will be performed under general anesthesia in a day surgery unit. Ultrasonographic guidance will be routinely used. Once the extent and severity of uterine adhesion has been assessed, the adhesions will be divided with the use of bipolar instrument until normal uterine anatomy is achieved.

Postoperative treatments

All subjects will be treated with oral antibiotics for 5 days. In all cases hormone therapy will also begin from the day of operation, consisting of estradiol at a dose of 2 mg/d for 21- 28 days, with the addition of dydrogesterone at a dose of 10 mg/d for the last 10 days of the estrogen therapy. After the withdrawal bleed, the hormone therapy will be repeated for another cycle. Second-look hysteroscopy will be carried out in the early proliferative phase, 4 weeks after the initial operation; a third-look hysteroscopy will be carried out 8 weeks after the initial operation. After assessment of the extent and severity of any reformed adhesion, hysteroscopic adhesiolysis will also be carried out at the time of the second-look procedure, if adhesion has recurred. The surgeon who performs the second-look and third-look hysteroscopy will be blinded to the randomization.

IUB dilatation

IUB dilatation therapy will be performed using a Foley catheter and according to the methodology published in the literature. This will be prepared by cutting the catheter tip protruding beyond the balloon. Once the catheter has reached the fundus, 3-5mls of saline will be slowly infiltrated into the balloon under ultrasound guidance in order to distend the cavity, thereby separating any reformed intrauterine adhesions.

Statistical Analysis

The rate of the recurrence of adhesion in the two groups will be compared using the 2 test. The reduction of AFS score in the two groups will be compared using the Mann-Whitney U test. A p value of < 0.05 will be considered statistically significant. All statistical analysis will be carried out with the use of SPSS 21.0.

Outcome measures

The primary outcome measure will include the degree of intrauterine adhesions and AFS score at follow-up. The secondary outcome measures will include the change of menstrual pattern after surgery and the need for re-operation.

Data processing and analysis

The investigators will ensure the confidentiality of sensitive data by minimizing the number of personnel who handle subject data. In addition, computer data will be encrypted as required to maximize security, while paper documents will be locked in filing cabinets, with only authorized personnel having access to the information.

Ethical considerations

IUB dilatation has been published as a novel technique with no untoward complications identified to date. The procedure will be performed according to the methodology available in the literature and the study has gained approval from the local ethical committee.


All subjects will be given a detailed explanation of the study and sufficient time to consider their participation. A written consent form will be signed by the patient and retained in the confidential records.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03131596

Contact Investigators or Research Sites near you

Start Over

Wen Luo

Fu Xing Hospital
Beijing, China
  Connect »