ARTerial EMbolization for haemorrhoIdal Disease (ART.EM.I. Study)

  • End date
    Nov 25, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
Updated on 28 January 2021


Haemorrhoidal disease is amongst the most common rectal conditions causing significant distress to the affected patients. Current surgical techniques for the treatment of internal haemorrhoids are associated with several drawbacks and sometimes high recurrence rates. The purpose of this study is to assess the safety and efficacy of a new minimally invasive technique that is based on blocking the arteries that feed the haemorrhoids and thus potentially leading to a decrease in their size. A recently published paper with 14 patients showed good results in terms of safety(Vidal et. al.). Despite the promising preliminary evidence, there is still a need for more studies and additional data. Furthermore, at the current time, there are no studies assessing quality of life changes post embolisation for these patients and the investigators hope to evaluate this important aspect of treatment as well.

This study will provide the investigators with results regarding the efficacy and safety of arterial embolisation for advanced haemorrhoid disease. This will be the first study to provide data on short and long term efficacy (in terms of re-bleeding and re-operation rates) as well as to provide evidence on the effect of this novel treatment on quality of life. This study will also be the largest study to date and if successful will pave the way for a large randomised controlled trial comparing the gold standard surgical treatment to the embolisation treatment.

The embolisation of haemorrhoid vessel is not an experimental technique and it has been used in the past in cases of uncontrollable hemorrhoidal- related bleeding with good results and without morbidity. However, this is the first time that the investigators will use this technique as a first line treatment for haemorrhoids and part of this study is to assess the feasibility and safety of this approach.


This is a pilot, prospective, single arm and single centre trial to assess the safety and efficacy of haemorrhoid embolisation. Patients with advanced hemorrhoidal disease (grade II-IV) will be identified through the colorectal clinic with a recruitment target of 24 patients. The duration of patient participation in this study is 24 months. During this time the patient will have to attend 4 appointments (including the treatment session).

All cases in this study will be performed as day case procedures. The patients will be admitted to the interventional radiology day unit in the morning, where a standard pre-assessment will take place. The main intervention will be the embolisation of their hemorrhoidal arteries. The embolisation will be performed using a standard approach with a right femoral puncture and after inserting a 5 Fr introducer sheath. The inferior mesenteric artery will be catheterized using a Simmons catheter (radiofocus-Terumo). The superior rectal arteries will be then catheterized with a rapid transit microcatheter Progreat microcatheter (Radiofocus-Terumo) and then embolised with a number of coils. The arteries will be packed with coils until there is complete blood flow stasis within the target artery bilaterally. The technical success of the procedure will be assessed by achieving stasis of blood flow distally to the site of the embolisation. This will be assessed fluoroscopically. CE marked coils will be used for the embolisation of the arteries feeding the haemorrhoids.

Following the procedure, patients will be discharged to their usual place of residence after 6 hours of observations in the interventional radiology day unit. The patients will be followed up in the colorectal clinic after 3 months, 12 months and 24 months.

Condition hemorrhoids with bleeding
Treatment Coil embolisation of hemorrhoidal arteries.
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04684251
SponsorOxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
Last Modified on28 January 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

i. Adult male and female patients between the ages of 40-90 years old
ii. Patients with grade II-IV haemorrhoid disease with re-current or active
bleeding AND
iii. Patients with (ii) who do not wish to undergo surgery for their symptoms
iv. Patients with (ii) despite previous surgery
v. Patients who can understand and sign the consent form

Exclusion Criteria

i. Patients who are not otherwise fit for surgery
ii. Patients with significant ano-rectal comorbidities (cancer, fistula
iii. Patients who are unable to sign the inform consent form
iv. Pregnancy
v. Patients with history of significant colorectal disease or previous
vi. Iodine allergy/ Contrast allergy
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