Percutaneous Intervertebral Disc Coagulation Therapy (PDCT) by Plasma Light: Preliminary Data from the First Experience in Europe

  • Chiara Zini
  • Dario Notaro
  • Giulia Sadotti
  • Giacomo Zini
  • Lucia Monti
  • Matteo BelliniEmail author
Clinical Investigation Non-Vascular Interventions
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Non-Vascular Interventions



To retrospectively assess safety and potential effectiveness of percutaneous intervertebral disc coagulation therapy (PDCT) using plasma thermal reaction for the treatment of lumbar and cervical disc hernias resistant to medical therapy.

Materials and Methods

Forty-four patients (age range 18–87 years, mean 52.7) with contained and extruded symptomatic lumbar (N = 48) and cervical (N = 6) disc hernias in the absence of free fragments causing radiculopathy without improvement after 6-week conservative therapy were enrolled. Pretreatment discography has been performed in every patient. Spine MRI was performed before the procedure and 4 months later, in order to check post-PDCT changes. Technical success was defined as correct placement of PDCT fiber; clinical outcomes were evaluated using visual analog scale (VAS) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) before the procedure and after 4 months.


A total of 54 levels have been treated with 98% technical success; in 12 patients (27%), the treatment was performed in two levels at the same time. All patients well tolerated the procedure; most patients (N = 39; 89%) had significant improvement in symptoms, with ODI score reduction from 47.61 ± 8.7 to 13.38 ± 9.4 (p < 0.001). The mean pre-PDCT VAS score was 7.47 ± 0.8. VAS score was decreased down to 1.36 ± 1.6 at final follow-up (p < 0.001). There were no cases of infection, nerve damage, or bleeding.


PDCT can be an effective and safe for minimally invasive indirect decompression for cervical and lumbar hernia resistant to conservative treatment, particularly when patients are correctly selected.


Disc herniation PDCT Plasma light 



We thank Prof. Alessandro Rossi, chief of the Neurologic and Motor Sciences Department (“Santa Maria alle Scotte” University Hospital, Siena, Italy), for his invaluable help and comments.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

For the present study formal consent is not required; for this type of study informed consent is not required. Privacy consent was obtained for every individual person’s data included in the study; for this type of study consent for publication is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature and the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chiara Zini
    • 2
  • Dario Notaro
    • 3
  • Giulia Sadotti
    • 3
  • Giacomo Zini
    • 4
  • Lucia Monti
    • 1
  • Matteo Bellini
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Neurologiche e Motorie, UOC Neuroimmagini e NeurointerventisticaAzienda Ospedaliera Universitaria SeneseSienaItaly
  2. 2.Azienda Toscana CentroOspedale di Santa Maria AnnunziataFirenzeItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche, Chirurgiche e NeuroscienzeUniversità degli Studi di Siena, Policlinico Santa Maria alle ScotteSienaItaly
  4. 4.Ingegneria Civile e AmbientaleUniversità degli Studi di FirenzeFirenzeItaly

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