Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 25–36 | Cite as

Value of percutaneous radiofrequency ablation with or without percutaneous vertebroplasty for pain relief and functional recovery in painful bone metastases

  • Frédéric Clarençon
  • Betty Jean
  • Hang-Phuong Pham
  • Evelyne Cormier
  • Gilbert Bensimon
  • Michèle Rose
  • Philippe Maksud
  • Jacques Chiras
Scientific Article



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.


RF 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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Copyright information

© ISS 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frédéric Clarençon
    • 1
  • Betty Jean
    • 1
  • Hang-Phuong Pham
    • 2
  • Evelyne Cormier
    • 1
  • Gilbert Bensimon
    • 2
  • Michèle Rose
    • 3
  • Philippe Maksud
    • 4
  • Jacques Chiras
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeuroradiologyPitié-Salpêtrière HospitalParisFrance
  2. 2.Department of Clinical PharmacologyPitié-Salpêtrière HospitalParisFrance
  3. 3.Department of Critical CarePitié-Salpêtrière HospitalParisFrance
  4. 4.Department of Nuclear MedicinePitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Assistance Publique des, Hôpitaux de ParisParisFrance

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