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Oncol Lett. 2013 Jul;6(1):185-190. Epub 2013 May 8.

Surgical treatment of giant cell tumors of the sacrum and spine combined with pre-operative transarterial embolization.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215006, P.R. China.


The pre-operative embolization of hypervascular spinal tumors is often performed to decrease intraoperative blood loss and facilitate tumor resection; however, few studies have been published on its effectiveness in giant cell tumors (GCT) of the sacrum and spine. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the value of surgical excision with pre-operative transarterial embolization for GCTs of the sacrum and spine, and to evaluate the follow-up outcomes. A retrospective study was performed on 28 patients with GCTs of the sacrum and spine, who underwent surgical treatment combined with pre-operative transarterial embolization between June 1995 and August 2011. The intraoperative blood loss, transfusion, duration of surgery, treatment, local recurrence, complications, follow-up status and functional outcome were reviewed. The average follow-up period was 86.3 months (range, 12-193 months). All the patients were treated with intralesional resection without any intraoperative shock or fatalities. The average intraoperative level of blood loss was 1,528.6 ml (range, 400-5,800 ml), the average transfusion volume was 1,514.3 ml (range, 400-6,000 ml) and the average duration of surgery was 225.4 min (range, 120-470 min). In total, eight (28.6%) patients developed recurrence and two patients succumbed. A total of eight (28.6%) patients experienced complications and 24 (85.7%) retained normal neurological function. Pre-operative embolization significantly decreases intraoperative blood loss and facilitates the maximal removal of the tumor. Pre-operative embolization followed by intralesional resection is able to achieve satisfactory local control and clinical outcomes. It is an effective technique for excising GCTs of the sacrum and spine.


blood loss; embolization; giant cell tumor; sacrum; spine

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