Embolization of sacral tumors

Neurosurg Focus. 2003 Aug 15;15(2):E4. doi: 10.3171/foc.2003.15.2.4.


The management of sacral tumors is challenging because of difficulties in accessing the lesion, the high rate of local recurrence, extensive vascularity causing significant intraoperative blood loss, resistance to radiation therapy, and risk of malignant transformation. Although surgery is the main treatment for many sacral tumors, embolization is a valuable primary and adjunctive therapy. Patients with benign lesions, including aneurysmal bone cysts and giant cell tumors, have responded to embolization with resolution of their symptoms and with ossification of their lesions. Embolization is used as a primary therapy for metastatic lesions and results in neurological improvement, reduced tumor size, and decreased spinal canal compromise. It is also used as an adjuvant therapy to reduce intraoperative blood loss and to aid in the resection of benign, malignant, and metastatic sacral lesions. It is important to note that embolization techniques are a valuable resource in the treatment of sacral tumors, and, overall, embolization should always be considered in patients with sacral tumors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Cysts, Aneurysmal / therapy
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Humans
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Meningioma / therapy
  • Neurilemmoma / therapy
  • Sacrum*
  • Spinal Diseases / therapy
  • Spinal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Spinal Neoplasms / secondary
  • Spinal Neoplasms / therapy*