Value of percutaneous radiofrequency ablation with or without percutaneous vertebroplasty for pain relief and functional recovery in painful bone metastases
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To evaluate the effectiveness of percutaneous radiofrequency (RF) ablation with or without percutaneous vertebroplasty (PV) on pain relief, functional recovery and local recurrence at 6 months’ follow-up (FU), in patients with painful osseous metastases.
Materials and methods
Thirty RF ablations were performed in 24 patients (mean age: 61 years) with bone metastases. Half of the patients had an additional PV. The primary end point was pain relief evaluated by a visual analogue scale (VAS) before treatment, and at 1 and 6 months’ FU. Functional outcome was assessed according to the evolution of their ability to walk at 6 months’ FU. Imaging FU was available in 20 out of 24 patients with a mean delay of 4.7 months.
Reduction of pain was obtained at 6 months FU in 81% of cases (15 out of 18). Mean pretreatment VAS was 6.4 (±2.7). Mean VAS was 1.9 (±2.4) at 1 month FU, and 2.3 (±2.9) at 6 months’ FU. Pain was significantly reduced at 6 months FU (mean VAS reduction = 4.1; P < 0.00001). Functional improvement was obtained in 74% of the cases. Major complications rate was 12.5 % (3 out of 24) with 2 skin burns, and 1 case of myelopathy. Local tumour recurrence or progression was recorded in 5 cases.
Radiofrequency ablation is an effective technique in terms of pain relief and functional recovery for the treatment of bone metastases, which provides a relatively low rate of local recurrence.
KeywordsRF ablation Bone metastases Pain relief Functional recovery Imaging follow-up
Standardised uptake value
Visual analogue scale
The authors thank M. Pierre Grare for his kind help in the English editing of the manuscript.
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