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Radiofrequency ablation versus magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound surgery for minimally invasive treatment of osteoid osteoma: a propensity score matching study



To compare outcomes in pain relief and motor functional recovery in patients with an osteoid osteoma treated by magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound surgery (MRgFUS) or radiofrequency ablation (RFA) using a propensity score matching study design.


Thirty patients with osteoid osteomas were included in this institutional review board (IRB)-approved study. MRgFUS was performed in 15 subjects. These subjects were matched by propensity analysis with a group of 15 subjects treated by RFA. Pain relief in terms of complete response (CR) and motor functional recovery were measured.


A similar proportion of subjects treated by MRgFUS (94 %) or RFA (100 %) experienced CR 12 weeks after treatment, with no significant difference. The improvement in pain control following MRgFUS or RFA paralleled with improved motor functional recovery. The treatment failure rate was 6.6 % in the MRgFUS group and 0 % in the RFA group. No major complications were observed following either ablative treatment.


Although this study involved a limited number of patients, MRgFUS favourably improves perceived pain and motor functional recovery, with no major complications. No difference was found in the achievement of primary and secondary outcome measures with respect to RFA.

Key Points

To demonstrate the effectiveness of a recent technique for treating osteoid osteoma

MRgFUS results compared with results of the gold standard treatment (RFA)

MRgFUS is effective both from a clinical and functional point of view

No significant side effects compared with RFA

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The scientific guarantor of this publication is Prof. Carlo Masciocchi. The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article. The authors state that this work has not received any funding. One of the authors has significant statistical expertise. Institutional review board approval was obtained.

Written informed consent was obtained from all patients in this study. Methodology: retrospective, observational, performed at one institution.

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Correspondence to Francesco Arrigoni.

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Masciocchi, C., Zugaro, L., Arrigoni, F. et al. Radiofrequency ablation versus magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound surgery for minimally invasive treatment of osteoid osteoma: a propensity score matching study. Eur Radiol 26, 2472–2481 (2016).

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  • Osteoid osteoma
  • MRgFUS
  • RFA
  • HIFU
  • Thermal ablation