Purpose: To assess the effectiveness and clinical usefulness of transcatheter embolization of bone metastases.
Patients and methods: The procedures and outcome of 61 transcatheter embolization procedures performed in 51 patients with hypervascular skeletal metastases were retrospectively evaluated. Results from computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and diagnostic angiography, performed before and after embolization, were reviewed.
Results: All embolizations were technically and clinically successful. Major blood loss during surgery was prevented in 32 cases; the size of viable tumor tissue in large, unresectable bone metastases was reduced before radiation or chemotherapy in 17 cases; and otherwise untreatable skeletal pain was decreased in 11 cases. Heavy bleeding from a metastasis was controlled in one case. The complications were temporary paresis of a lower extremity in three patients, cardiac arrest in one patients, and unintentional embolization of synthetic tissue adhesive in one patient. Median survival time was 28 months (range, 3-59 months).
Conclusion: Transcatheter embolization is effective and reliable in the treatment of bone metastases.