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Neuroradiology. 2011 Jan;53(1):19-22. doi: 10.1007/s00234-010-0705-6. Epub 2010 May 5.

Postprocedural CT for perivertebral cement leakage in percutaneous vertebroplasty is not necessary--results from VERTOS II.

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Department of Radiology, St. Elisabeth Ziekenhuis Tilburg, Tilburg, The Netherlands.



During percutaneous vertebroplasty (PV), perivertebral cement leakage frequently occurs. There is some concern that cement deposits may migrate towards the lungs via the veins during follow-up. We used baseline and follow-up computed tomography (CT) to assess the incidence and extend of late cement migration in a large consecutive patient cohort.


VERTOS II is a prospective multicenter randomized controlled trial comparing PV with conservative therapy for osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVCFs). Patients assigned to PV had baseline postprocedural CT scans of the treated vertebral bodies. After a mean follow-up of 22 months, 54 of 78 patients (69%) had follow-up CT. CT scans were analyzed and compared for perivertebral venous, discal, and soft tissue leakage.


Perivertebral cement leakage occurred in 64 of 80 treated vertebrae (80%; 95% CI, 70% to 87%). All patients remained asymptomatic. Perivertebral venous leakage was present in 56 vertebrae (88%), mostly in the anterior external venous plexus (46 of 56, 82%). Discal leakage occurred in 22 of 64 vertebrae (34%) and soft tissue leakage in two of 64 (4%). Mean injected cement volume in vertebrae with leakage was higher (4.5 versus 3.7 cm(3), p = 0.04). Follow-up CT scan showed unchanged perivertebral cement leakages without late cement migration.


Perivertebral cement leaks during PV for OVCFs occurred frequently in the VERTOS II trial. Cement leakage occurred more frequently with higher injected volumes. However, all patients remained asymptomatic, and late cement migration during follow-up did not occur. Standard postprocedural CT of the treated vertebral body in PV is not necessary.

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