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J Neurosurg Spine. 2008 Aug;9(2):129-36. doi: 10.3171/SPI/2008/9/8/129.

Predictive factors for subsequent vertebral fracture after percutaneous vertebroplasty.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Wooridul Spine Hospital, Seoul, Korea.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the predictive factors for subsequent vertebral fracture occurring after percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) at the neighboring levels (adjacent vs nonadjacent levels).


The medical records of 508 consecutive patients treated with PVP between January 2000 and December 2002 were retrospectively reviewed. A total of 45 patients with 49 painful vertebral fractures occurring after PVP was identified based on clinical and radiological findings. New vertebral fractures, developing at any of the 3 consecutive vertebral bodies (VBs) above or below the previously treated level, were the focus of the study. The patients were divided into 3 groups: an adjacent-level fracture group, nonadjacent-level fracture group, and a control group composed of 50 randomly selected patients in whom there was no evidence of a new fracture. Clinical, imaging, and procedure-related factors for each group were statistically analyzed.


In 31 patients 35 VBs were classified as adjacent-level fractures, and in 14 patients 14 VBs were classified as nonadjacent-level fractures. After further vertebroplasty, the overall pain intensity and satisfaction rate in patients with post-PVP fractures were similar to those in the control group. In cases involving adjacent fractures, lower body mass index and intradiscal cement leakage were the significant predictive factors of fracture. In contrast, lower mobility of the index segment was related to nonadjacent-level fracture.


According to the authors' results, the mechanisms of subsequent fracture at adjacent and nonadjacent vertebrae are different. A direct pillar effect (that is, the difference in strength caused by cement augmentation) may provoke an adjacent-level fracture, whereas a dynamic hammer effect (the difference in segmental mobility) may lead to a nonadjacent fracture.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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