Embolization has tremendously evolved in recent years and has expanded to treatment of a variety of pathologic processes. There has been emerging evidence that the level of arterial occlusion and the distribution of embolic particles may play an important role in the clinical outcome. This is a comprehensive literature review to identify variables that play important role in determination of level of occlusion of blood vessels and distribution of embolic particles. The literature searches between 1996 to 2020 through PubMed and Ovid-MEDLINE yielded over 1030 articles of which 30 studies providing details on the level of occlusion are reviewed here. We divided the playing factors into characteristics of the particles, solution/injection and vascular bed. Accordingly, particle size, type and aggregation, compressibility/deformability, and biodegradability are categorized as the factors involving particles’ behavioral nature. Infusion rate and concentration/dilution of the medium are related to the carrying solution. Hemodynamics and the arterial resistance are characteristics of the vascular bed that also play an important role in the distribution of embolic particles. Understanding and predicting the level of embolization is a complex multi-factor problem that requires more evidence, warranting further randomized controlled trials, and powered human and animal studies.
- Embolic agents
- Interventional radiology