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Genicular Artery Embolization as a Treatment for Osteoarthritis Related Knee Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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  • Musculoskeletal Interventions
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Genicular artery embolization (GAE) is a minimally invasive therapy for symptomatic osteoarthritis (OA) in patients with knee pain refractory to conservative management. The purpose of this study was to evaluate evidence on the effectiveness of GAE for OA related knee pain as part of a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Materials and Methods

Using Embase, PubMed, and Web of Science, a systematic review was performed to identify studies evaluating treatment of knee OA with GAE. The primary outcome measure was change in pain scale score at 6 months. A Hedge’s g was computed as a measure of effect size, selecting Visual Analog Scale (VAS) first if available and Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index if VAS was not available.


After screening titles, abstracts, and the full text, 10 studies met inclusion criteria. A total of 351 treated knees were included. Patients who underwent GAE demonstrated declines in VAS pain scores at 1 month {− 34 points [95% CI (− 43.8, − 24.6)], 3 months {− 30 points [95% CI (− 41.7, − 19.2)], 6 months {− 41 points [95% CI (− 54.0, − 27.2)], and 12 months {− 37 points [95% CI (− 55.0, − 18.1)]. Hedges’ g from baseline to 1, 3, 6, and 12 months, was {− 1.3 [95% CI (− 1.6, − 0.97)]}, {− 1.2 [95% CI (− 1.54, − 0.84)]}, {− 1.4 [95% CI (− 2.1, − 0.8)]}, and {− 1.25 [95% CI (− 2.0, − 0.6)]}, respectively.


GAE provides durable reductions in pain scores for patients suffering with mild, moderate, and severe OA.

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Correspondence to Yan Epelboym.

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Y.E. has received consultancies from Boston Imaging Core Lab (BICL). A.G. has received consultancies, speaking fees, and/or honoraria from Novartis, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Regeneron, Merck Serono, and is a shareholder of BICL. None of the other authors have declared any competing interests.

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Epelboym, Y., Mandell, J.C., Collins, J.E. et al. Genicular Artery Embolization as a Treatment for Osteoarthritis Related Knee Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 46, 760–769 (2023).

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