The role of percutaneous transarterial embolization in the management of spinal bone tumors: a literature review

Giancarlo Facchini, Anna Parmeggiani, Giuliano Peta, Claudia Martella, Alessandro Gasbarrini, Gisberto Evangelisti, Marco Miceli, Giuseppe Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


PURPOSE: Spinal bone tumors include a heterogeneous broad of primary or metastatic lesions that may present as incidental findings or manifest with painful symptoms and pathological fractures. Optimal management of spine bone lesions is often difficult and treatment algorithms are usually solidly based on surgery. We aimed to evaluate the contribution of trans-arterial embolization in this field, with particular attention to the procedure efficacy, technical difficulties and complications.

METHODS: We present a literature review on the role of trans-arterial embolization in the management of spinal bone tumors, both primary and metastatic, evaluating its contribution as preoperative treatment, palliative procedure and standalone curative strategy.

RESULTS: Trans-arterial embolization provides an important contribution to reducing surgery hemorrhagic risks, offering a better visualization of the operating field, and possibly increasing tumor susceptibility to chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Nonetheless, it plays an important part in pain palliation, with the unquestionable advantage of being easily repeatable in case of necessity. Its curative role as a standalone therapy is still subject of debate, and at the present time, satisfactory results have been recorded only in the treatment of aneurysmal bone cysts.

CONCLUSION: Percutaneous trans-arterial embolization has established as a highly useful minimally invasive procedure in the management of spinal bone lesions, particularly as adjuvant preoperative therapy and palliative treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Aug 20 2021


  • Interventional radiology
  • Neoplasm metastasis
  • Orthopedic procedures
  • Palliative care
  • Spinal neoplasms
  • Vertebral artery


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