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Eur Radiol. 2014 Jul;24(7):1577-85. doi: 10.1007/s00330-014-3165-2. Epub 2014 Apr 18.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVCFs): improvement of pulmonary function after percutaneous vertebroplasty (VTP).

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Department of Diagnostic and Molecular Imaging, Interventional Radiology and Radiation Therapy, Fondazione Policlinico "Tor Vergata", Viale Oxford 81, 00133, Rome, Italy.



To investigate the changes of respiratory function in patients affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with single dorsal osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVCFs) treated with vertebroplasty (VTP).


Forty-five patients affected by COPD and single dorsal OVCF underwent VTP (29 men, 16 women; mean age 71.4 years, range 65-77 years). Inclusion criteria were magnetic resonance findings of bone marrow oedema, without intracanal bone fragments and refractory pain to medical treatment for at least 3 months. Osteoporosis was assessed by bone densitometry. Spirometry was performed before and after treatment.


A significant VAS-score decrease was observed 1 week after VTP, with a subsequent decrease over time; vital capacity (VC) and forced vital capacity (FVC) improved over time, reaching a plateau at 3 months. Forced expiratory volume at 1 s (FEV1) did not significantly differ between the pre-VTP values and follow-up values. A significant correlation was observed between VAS-score values and VC, and VAS-score values and FVC. No significant correlation was observed between VAS-score values and FEV1 values.


VTP improves restrictive ventilatory impairment in patients with moderate and severe COPD affected by single thoracic OVCFs. We recommend this treatment in the management of these patients.


• Osteoporosis is a major comorbidity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. • Pain due to osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures worsens respiratory failure in COPD. • Vertebroplasty improves ventilatory impairment in COPD patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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