Treatment of spinal metastases from kidney cancer by presurgical embolization and resection

J Neurosurg. 1990 Oct;73(4):548-54. doi: 10.3171/jns.1990.73.4.0548.


Surgical treatment of bone metastases from kidney cancer is often complicated by profuse blood loss. The authors report the results of a retrospective review of 30 consecutive patients who underwent surgery for spinal metastases from kidney cancer. Seventeen patients (57%) were operated on after failing radiation therapy. Prior to operation, selective spinal angiography and embolization were performed in 17 patients with no permanent neurological deficits resulting. Gross total resection of the tumor and stabilization of the spine were then accomplished with acceptable blood loss. Twenty-seven (90%) of the 30 patients improved neurologically following surgery. There was a median survival time of 16 months, a 2-year survival rate of 33%, and a 5-year survival rate of 15%. Major surgical complications in this series were related to excessive blood loss in patients without embolization. These data suggest that patients with spinal metastases from kidney cancer should undergo spinal angiography and embolization prior to resection of the tumor. To improve upon current results, such treatment should be carried out prior to external radiation therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Ethanol / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spinal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Spinal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Spinal Neoplasms / secondary
  • Spinal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Spinal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Survival Rate
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Ethanol