Percutaneous vertebroplasty for pathological vertebral compression fractures secondary to multiple myeloma
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Vertebral compression fractures are common in multiple myeloma. Percutaneous vertebroplasty is used to stabilize vertebral collapse and treat the pain. The major technical drawbacks of percutaneous vertebroplasty are the potential for neural comprise and pulmonary embolism of cement from leakage of polymethylmethacrylate into epidural space and perivertebral veins. We have retrospectively evaluated the safety and complication of percutaneous vertebroplasty in the vertebral compression fractures resulting from multiple myeloma.
From August 2003 to July 2008, we describe 24 patients with multiple myeloma who were treated for vertebral compression fractures with percutaneous vertebroplasty to a total of 36 vertebrae. There were 4 male and 20 female patients with an average age of 67 (range 54–81 years). The pain symptoms were measured on a visual analog pain scale and quality of life as measured by the physical component summary scale of the Short Form-36 before operation and at 24 h, at 3 months and at 1 year following vertebroplasty. Radiography was reviewed for evidence of cement leakage and pulmonary complication.
The mean visual analog pain scale decreased from a preoperative value of 9.0–3.8 at 24 h following operation and SF-36 score improved from 22.1 to 41.8. Of the twenty-four patients, four had cement leakage (2 leak through inferior endplate into disc, 2 leak into perivertebral vessels). There were no intra-postoperative neurologic or pulmonary complications. Eight patients died 2–18 months post-operatively due to multiple myeloma-related organ failure.
In this study, vertebroplasty significantly improved pain scores and function and, thereby, the quality of life. There were no major procedure-related complications in this study. Direct cytotoxic effect, polymerization and biomechanical microfractures stabilizer of polymethylmethacrylate play multiple roles in pain relief. In multiple myeloma, when pathological spinal compression fractures cause intractable pain and are unresponsive to conservative treatment, vertebroplasty remains the best option for pain relief and is effective in increasing quality of life.
KeywordsVertebral augmentation Vertebroplasty Multiple myeloma Spinal tumors
We thank the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery for their contribution to the study.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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