ISSN: 0970-938X (Print) | 0976-1683 (Electronic)

Biomedical Research

An International Journal of Medical Sciences


Open microwave ablation in the treatment of spinal metastasis: preliminary experience

Purpose: This study aims to report the preliminary clinical outcomes of a new procedure using open microwave ablation for the treatment of spinal metastases.

Materials and Methods: Fourteen patients with spinal metastases were treated by open microwave ablation between January 2006 and December 2008. Effectiveness was evaluated using Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and Frankel Classification of Neurological Deficit during the one-month postoperative follow-up.

Results: These procedures were technically successful in all bone lesions. Mean VAS scores during the one-month postoperative follow-up significantly improved compared to preoperative scores (2.3 ± 1.2 vs. 5.1 ± 1.5, P<0.05). Among the six patients who presented with preoperative neurological dysfunction, five patients recovered after surgery; while the remaining patients did not obtain any recovery. Among the eight patients without preoperative neurological dysfunction, one patient complained of loss of total sensory and motor function in the unilateral lower extremity after surgery. However, this was almost restored to normal after three weeks. Local recurrence was observed in three patients. Delayed wound healing occurred in one patient, but eventually healed after a secondary surgery. No wound infection or failure of fixation was observed in any patient. Six patients died after the operation, in which four cases died of primary diseases, and two cases died of cerebral bleeding and pneumonia, respectively.

Conclusions: Open microwave-induced in situ ablation is potentially a promising technique for the treatment of spinal metastases. Further studies with a larger number of samples and longer-term followups are warranted.

Author(s): Xing Wei, Bingyao Chen, Li Nan, Yaming Shi, WenWen Wu, Yunqing Ma, Shuxun Hou
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