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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2009 Jun;20(6):760-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jvir.2009.01.037.

Predictors of successful palliation of compression fractures with vertebral augmentation: single-center experience of 525 cases.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.



To determine the effectiveness of vertebral augmentation in relieving pain, differences in pain relief outcomes based on procedure type were investigated. Variables that potentially influence outcomes were identified.


A database of 525 cases (740 levels) treated for compression fractures with vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty, or S1-level sacroplasty was compiled. Average age was 75 years +/- 12, and 72.4% of patients were female. Variables evaluated included age, sex, fracture etiology, procedure type, vertebral level treated, number of levels treated per procedure, and technical approach. Outcomes were assessed by a binary system of "responders" (ie, patients with improvement/resolution of pain) versus "non-responders" (ie, those with no change/worsening of pain) and with a four-level pain scale (1, pain resolution; 2, pain improvement; 3, no change; 4, worse pain) retrospectively applied from medical records. Univariate and multivariate analyses determined outcomes.


Four-hundred and sixty-seven patients (89%) showed a response to treatment: 40% had pain resolution and 49% had pain improvement. Multivariate analysis showed that women and older patients had greater odds of being responders (odds ratios [ORs], 0.56 and 0.98, respectively; P = .016 and P = .048, respectively). Patients without cancer (OR, 1.60; P = .012) and women (OR, 2.05; P = .0002) were more likely to experience pain resolution. Increasing numbers of levels treated per case were associated with decreased odds of pain resolution (OR, 0.69; P = .0081). Sex and number of levels treated were independently predictive of pain scale outcomes (ORs, 2.0 and 0.71, respectively; P = .0003 and P = .015).


Vertebral augmentation procedures provide pain relief for a majority of patients regardless of underlying fracture etiology. There was no difference in pain outcomes among procedure types. Age and sex may be predictive of pain outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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