Treatment of aneurysmal bone cysts with percutaneous sclerotherapy using polidocanol. A review of 72 cases with long-term follow-up

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2006 Sep;88(9):1212-6. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.88B9.17829.


Aneurysmal bone cyst is a rare tumour-like lesion which develops during growth. Our aim was to determine the efficacy of the administration of percutaneous intralesional 3% polidocanol (hydroxypolyaethoxydodecan) as sclerotherapy. Between July 1997 and December 2004 we treated 72 patients (46 males, 26 females) with a histologically-proven diagnosis of aneurysmal bone cyst, at various skeletal sites using this method. The sclerotherapy was performed under fluoroscopic guidance and general anaesthesia or sedation and local anaesthesia. The mean follow-up period was 34 months (26.5 to 80). The patients were evaluated using the Enneking system for functional assessment and all the lesions were radiologically quantified into four grades. The mean age of patients was 15.6 years (3 to 38) and the mean number of injections was three (1 to 5). Ten patients were cured by a single injection. The mean reduction in size of the lesion (radiological healing) was found to be 76.6% (61.9% to 93.2%) with a mean clinical response of 84.5% (73.4% to 100%). Recurrence was seen in two patients (2.8%) within two years of treatment and both were treated successfully by further sclerotherapy. Percutaneous sclerotherapy with polidocanol is a safe alternative to conventional surgery for the treatment of an aneurysmal bone cyst. It can be used at surgically-inaccessible sites and treatment can be performed on an out-patient basis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bone Cysts, Aneurysmal / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone Cysts, Aneurysmal / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intralesional
  • Male
  • Polidocanol
  • Polyethylene Glycols / administration & dosage*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / adverse effects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sclerosing Solutions / administration & dosage*
  • Sclerosing Solutions / adverse effects
  • Sclerotherapy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Sclerosing Solutions
  • Polidocanol
  • Polyethylene Glycols