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Clinical Outcomes of Transcatheter Arterial Embolisation for Chronic Knee Pain: Mild-to-Moderate Versus Severe Knee Osteoarthritis

  • Clinical Investigation
  • Arterial Interventions
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This retrospective study was conducted to compare the clinical outcomes of transcatheter arterial embolisation for chronic knee pain in patients with mild-to-moderate versus severe knee osteoarthritis.

Materials and Methods

This study included patients (n = 41) who were refractory to conservative treatments and who underwent transcatheter arterial embolisation using imipenem/cilastatin sodium between June 2017 and July 2018. A total of 71 knees, including 30 bilateral cases, were treated and categorised into two groups according to the Kellgren–Lawrence grade: mild-to-moderate osteoarthritis (n = 59, Kellgren–Lawrence grade 1–3) and severe osteoarthritis (n = 12, Kellgren–Lawrence grade 4). The clinical outcomes were measured by the visual analogue scale score.


There were no significant differences in age, body mass index or baseline visual analogue scale scores between the two groups. The mean visual analogue scale scores in the mild-to-moderate osteoarthritis group were significantly decreased at 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 6-months (5.5 at baseline vs. 3.2, 3.1, 2.9, 2.2, and 1.9, after treatment; all P = .00). These improvements were maintained at a mean of 10 ± 3 months (range 6–19 months) post-treatment. The visual analogue scale scores were significantly decreased in the severe osteoarthritis group for 1 month post-treatment (6.3 at baseline vs. 4.1, 4.1, and 4.4 at 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month; all P < .01). However, a decrease in pain was not statistically significant from 3 to 6 months (5.4 and 5.9 at 3 months and 6 months, respectively).


Transcatheter arterial embolisation effectively relieved pain in patients with mild-to-moderate osteoarthritis. In patients with severe osteoarthritis, pain severity decreased for 1 month but gradually increased to the initial severity score within 3 months.

Level of Evidence

4, Case series.

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Correspondence to Sang Hwan Lee.

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This retrospective study was approved by the institutional review board (IRB). For this type of study, formal consent is not required.

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This study has obtained IRB approval from H Plus Yangji Clinical Research Center, and the need for informed consent was waived.

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Lee, S.H., Hwang, J.H., Kim, D.H. et al. Clinical Outcomes of Transcatheter Arterial Embolisation for Chronic Knee Pain: Mild-to-Moderate Versus Severe Knee Osteoarthritis. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 42, 1530–1536 (2019).

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