Preoperative embolization in surgical treatment of spinal metastases: single-blind, randomized controlled clinical trial of efficacy in decreasing intraoperative blood loss

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PURPOSE: To assess whether preoperative transcatheter arterial embolization of spinal metastases reduces blood loss, the need for transfusion with allogeneic red blood cells (RBCs), and surgery time in the surgical treatment of patients with symptomatic metastatic spinal cord compression.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This single-blind, randomized (1:1), controlled, parallel-group, single-center trial was approved by the Danish National Committee on Biomedical Research Ethics and was conducted from May 2011-March 2013. Participants (N = 45) were scheduled for decompression and posterior thoracic/lumbar spinal instrumentation and randomly assigned to either preoperative embolization (n = 23) or a control group (n = 22). The primary outcome was intraoperative blood loss. Secondary outcomes were perioperative blood loss, allogeneic RBC transfusion, and surgery time. Analyses were performed by intention-to-treat.

RESULTS: The intention-to-treat analysis included 45 patients. Mean intraoperative blood loss did not differ significantly (P = .270) between the embolization group (618 mL [SD, 282 mL]) and the control group (735 mL [SD, 415 mL]). There was also no significant difference in allogeneic RBC transfusion (P = .243). Surgery time was significantly shorter in the embolization group (P = .031): median 90 minutes (range, 54-252 min) versus 124 minutes (range, 80-183 min). The subanalysis of hypervascular metastases revealed a significant (P = .041) reduction in blood loss in the embolization group: 645 mL (SD, 289 mL) versus 902 mL (SD, 416 mL).

CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative embolization in patients with symptomatic spinal metastasis independent of primary tumor diagnosis did not reduce intraoperative blood loss and allogeneic RBC transfusion significantly but did reduce the surgery time. A small reduction of intraoperative blood loss was shown in hypervascular metastases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)402-12.e1
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015

    Research areas

  • Embolization, Therapeutic, Female, Humans, Laminectomy, Male, Middle Aged, Operative Time, Postoperative Hemorrhage, Preoperative Care, Single-Blind Method, Spinal Neoplasms, Treatment Outcome

ID: 161731980