Pulmonary cement embolism associated with percutaneous vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty: a systematic review

Orthop Surg. 2012 Aug;4(3):182-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1757-7861.2012.00193.x.


Therapeutic vertebral cement augmentation for the treatment of painful skeletal diseases, although widely applied for more than several decades, still has not thoroughly resolve the problem of cement extravasation. Based on a review of literature published, the present study was to provide a systematic review of the current understanding of pulmonary cement embolism (PCE) associated with percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) or percutaneous kyphoplasty (PKP), and to summarize the incidence, clinical features, prophylaxis and therapeutic management of PCE after vertebral cement reinforcement. The reported incidence of PCE ranges widely, from 2.1% to 26%. Asymptomatic PCE is a common condition without permanent clinical sequelae. Nevertheless, it is emergent once a symptomatic PCE is presented. Close attention and effective pre-measures should be taken to avoid this catastrophic complication.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Cements / adverse effects*
  • Fractures, Compression / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Kyphoplasty / adverse effects
  • Kyphoplasty / methods
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Pulmonary Embolism / etiology*
  • Spinal Fractures / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vertebroplasty / adverse effects*
  • Vertebroplasty / methods


  • Bone Cements