Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 161–167 | Cite as

Selective arterial embolization of 36 aneurysmal bone cysts of the skeleton with N-2-butyl cyanoacrylate

  • Giuseppe Rossi
  • Eugenio RimondiEmail author
  • Tommaso Bartalena
  • Antonio Gerardi
  • Marco Alberghini
  • Eric Lodwijk Staals
  • Costantino Errani
  • Giuseppe Bianchi
  • Angelo Toscano
  • Mario Mercuri
  • Daniel Vanel
Scientific Article



Aneurysmal bone cyst (ABC) is a lytic benign bone lesion representing about 1% of all primary bone tumors. The lesion causes pain and swelling, which are generally present for less than 3 months.


From April 2003 to April 2008 36 patients affected by aneurysmal bone cysts were treated by selective arterial embolization with N-2-butyl cyanoacrylate. The study population comprised 20 male and 16 female patients with an age range of 3.3–60.8 years. Nine lesions were localized in the appendicular skeleton (1 in the upper and 8 in the lower limb), 4 in the thoracic cage (1 rib lesion and 3 scapular lesions), 17 in the pelvis and 6 in the spine (1 thoracic and 5 sacral localizations).


A total of 55 embolizations were performed: in 22 cases (61%) only one embolization was needed, whilst two embolizations were necessary in 9 cases (25%) and 3 in the remaining 5 patients (14%). The treatment was effective in 32 patients (94% ): follow-up was 0.9–5 years. In one patient, previously surgically treated, only the cyanoacrylate embolization turned out to be useful for healing the lesion. Another 7 patients underwent surgery during the study period. In the 55 procedures we performed we had 3 complications (5%): 2 cases of skin necrosis and 1 of transient paresis.


Arterial embolization with cyanoacrylate may be the treatment of choice for aneurysmal bone cysts. Embolization is a less invasive, lower cost, simpler procedure than surgery and is easily repeatable.


Aneurysmal bone cyst (ABC) Tumor-like lesion Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) Selective arterial embolization (SAE) N-2-butyl cyanoacrylate 


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Copyright information

© ISS 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe Rossi
    • 1
  • Eugenio Rimondi
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tommaso Bartalena
    • 3
  • Antonio Gerardi
    • 4
  • Marco Alberghini
    • 5
  • Eric Lodwijk Staals
    • 6
  • Costantino Errani
    • 6
  • Giuseppe Bianchi
    • 6
  • Angelo Toscano
    • 6
  • Mario Mercuri
    • 6
  • Daniel Vanel
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Interventional Angiographic RadiologyRizzoli Orthopaedic InstituteBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyRizzoli Orthopaedic InstituteBolognaItaly
  3. 3.University of BolognaBolognaItaly
  4. 4.Department of Anatomical Human Science and Physiopathology of the Musculoskeletal SystemRizzoli Orthopaedic InstituteBolognaItaly
  5. 5.Department of Pathological AnatomyRizzoli Orthopaedic InstituteBolognaItaly
  6. 6.V Division of Musculoskeletal TumorsRizzoli Orthopaedic InstituteBolognaItaly

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