Selective arterial embolization of 36 aneurysmal bone cysts of the skeleton with N-2-butyl cyanoacrylate

Giuseppe Rossi, Eugenio Rimondi, Tommaso Bartalena, Antonio Gerardi, Marco Alberghini, Eric Lodwijk Staals, Costantino Errani, Giuseppe Bianchi, Angelo Toscano, Mario Mercuri, Daniel Vanel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Aneurysmal bone cyst (ABC) is a lytic benign bone lesion representing about 1% of all primary bone tumors. The lesion causes pain and swelling, which are generally present for less than 3 months. Methods From April 2003 to April 2008 36 patients affected by aneurysmal bone cysts were treated by selective arterial embolization with N-2-butyl cyanoacrylate. The study population comprised 20 male and 16 female patients with an age range of 3.3-60.8 years. Nine lesions were localized in the appendicular skeleton (1 in the upper and 8 in the lower limb), 4 in the thoracic cage (1 rib lesion and 3 scapular lesions), 17 in the pelvis and 6 in the spine (1 thoracic and 5 sacral localizations). Results A total of 55 embolizations were performed: in 22 cases (61%) only one embolization was needed, whilst two embolizations were necessary in 9 cases (25%) and 3 in the remaining 5 patients (14%). The treatment was effective in 32 patients (94% ): follow-up was 0.9-5 years. In one patient, previously surgically treated, only the cyanoacrylate embolization turned out to be useful for healing the lesion. Another 7 patients underwent surgery during the study period. In the 55 procedures we performed we had 3 complications (5%): 2 cases of skin necrosis and 1 of transient paresis. Conclusions Arterial embolization with cyanoacrylate may be the treatment of choice for aneurysmal bone cysts. Embolization is a less invasive, lower cost, simpler procedure than surgery and is easily repeatable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-167
Number of pages7
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Aneurysmal bone cyst (ABC)
  • Digital subtraction angiography (DSA)
  • N-2-butyl cyanoacrylate
  • Selective arterial embolization (SAE)
  • Tumor-like lesion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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