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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2011 Jul;22(7):1017-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jvir.2011.02.036. Epub 2011 May 14.

Percutaneous vertebroplasty in very severe osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures: feasible and beneficial.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Leiden University Medical Center, Albinusdreef 2, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.



To assess clinical outcome and technical feasibility of percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) in 34 patients with 37 osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVCFs) with vertebral body collapse to less than one-third of the original height, termed very severe osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (vsOVCFs).


A prospective follow-up study was conducted using a 0-10 pain intensity numerical rating scale and the Short Form-36 General Health Survey (SF-36) quality-of-life questionnaire, completed before PVP and 7 days (pain only), 1 month, 3 months, and 12 months after PVP. Cement leakage was analyzed on postoperative computed tomography (CT) scanning. The presence of new fractures was assessed at 6 weeks and 52 weeks and when suspected clinically.


Decrease in average and worst back pain was 2.5 points and 3.0 points after 7 days, and 2.5 points and 2.9 points after 12 months. The physical and mental SF-36 summary scores were significantly increased. Incidence of cement leakage in vsOVCFs was 91.9%, which was substantially higher compared with non-vsOVCFs (n = 40) treated in the same patients (64.1%; odds ratio [OR] 6.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.7-24.5, P = .004). Mean leakage volume per treated vertebra was more than twice as high (0.80 mL vs 0.32 mL; P < .001). Seventeen new OVCFs in 11 patients (32.4%) were identified. Only one (2.9%) minor complication occurred, confirming the feasibility of PVP in vsOVCFs.


Patients with painful vsOVCFs can be treated with, and benefit from, PVP. Although technically more demanding and with a higher procedural risk (ie, more frequent necessity of placement of a second needle, higher leakage incidence, and greater leakage volumes), PVP is technically feasible and should not be withheld from these patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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