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Minimally Invasive Treatment for Unicameral Bone Cysts with Chemical Sclerosis and Bone Graft Substitute: A Preliminary Report



Unicameral bone cysts (UBCs) are benign lesions that primarily occur in childhood and can present with pain, pathologic fracture and growth disturbances. Existing treatment approaches for the management of UBCs are highly variable and recurrence is not uncommon.

This study seeks to evaluate near-term outcomes of an image-guided, minimally invasive combination of chemical sclerotherapy and synthetic grafting as a novel outpatient management treatment option for UBCs.

Materials and Methods

Retrospective evaluation from August 2018 to July 2020 of fourteen pediatric patients, ages 5–14 years, undergoing treatment for a UBC, at a single institution. All UBCs were treated in a single, minimally invasive, image-guided procedure using percutaneous needle access into the UBC followed by chemical sclerotherapy and injection of regenerative synthetic graft. Patients were followed clinically and with serial radiographs to evaluate for healing and complications, with an average follow-up of 13.7 months. Descriptive statistics were performed.


Twelve of 14 (85.7%) patients showed Modified Neer classification class 1 or 2 healed cysts at their most recent follow-up. There were two recurrences. All patients were pain-free and returned to normal physical activity on average within 2.0 months, and all patients with healed cysts remained asymptomatic at the most recent follow-up. There were no complications related to the procedures.


Image-guided chemical sclerosis and bone grafting is a minimally invasive treatment option for unicameral bone cysts and compares favorably to other existing treatment options. The preliminary findings of this technique are promising as an alternative management option for UBCs.

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Disclosure of funding (from National Institutes of Health (NIH); Wellcome Trust; Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI); and other(s)): None.

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Correspondence to Ali Khan.

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Rajeswaran, S., Khan, A., Samet, J.D. et al. Minimally Invasive Treatment for Unicameral Bone Cysts with Chemical Sclerosis and Bone Graft Substitute: A Preliminary Report. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 45, 190–196 (2022).

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  • Unicameral bone cysts
  • UBC
  • Sclersosis
  • Bone grafting