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J Orthop Sci. 2005 May;10(3):253-7.

Preoperative embolization in spinal and pelvic metastases.

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Department of Trauma, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery, University Hospital, D-66421, Homburg/Saar, Germany.


The role of preoperative embolization should be evaluated for the surgical treatment of spinal and pelvic metastases. Selective embolization was performed in 32 patients (19 men, 13 women; mean age 63.4 years) before surgery by anterior resection of spinal metastases (n = 21) or pelvic metastases (n = 11). Evaluation parameters consisted of the intraoperative blood loss, the need for blood replacement, and the operating time. There was a significant difference in blood loss and transfusion requirements in the spinal group (P = 0.02) as well as in the pelvic group (P = 0.05) compared to a nonembolized control group of spinal (n = 20) and pelvic (n = 10) metastases. The operating time in the embolized group was shorter, but the difference was not significant. Surgical revision was required in two cases in the embolized spinal group owing to necrosis of the psoas muscle. No neurological deficit was observed that could be attributed to the embolization procedure. Preoperative embolization is thus a suitable method for reducing intraoperative blood loss and transfusion requirements in hypervascularized spinal and pelvic metastases.

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