Purpose: We aimed to compare polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) particles with calibrated superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticle-loaded chitosan microspheres in a rabbit model, specifically regarding the relative distribution of embolic agents within the uterus based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and pathological evaluation.
Results: Calibrated SPIO-loaded chitosan microspheres 45–150 μm in size were detected on T2-weighted images. On histological analysis, calibrated SPIO-embedded chitosan microspheres were found in both myometrium and endometrium, whereas PVA particles were found only in the perimyometrium or extrauterine fat pads. A proportional relationship was noted between the calibrated SPIO-embedded chitosan microsphere size and the size of the occluded artery.
Methods: Twelve New Zealand white rabbits underwent uterine artery embolization using either standard PVA particles (45–150 μm or 350–500 μm) or calibrated SPIO-embedded chitosan microspheres (45–150 μm or 300–500 μm). MRI and histopathological findings were compared one week after embolization.
Conclusion: Calibrated SPIO-embedded chitosan microspheres induced greater segmental arterial occlusion than PVA particles and showed great potential as a new embolic material. SPIO-embedded chitosan microspheres can be used to follow distribution of embolic particles through MRI studies.