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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Clinical neurology and neurosurgery.

Volume 115, Issue 12, December 2013, Pages 2457-2463.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2013.09.033. Copyright © Elsevier Inc.


BACKGROUND: Preoperative embolization has the potential to decrease intraoperative blood loss and facilitate spinal cord decompression and tumor resection.

OBJECTIVE: We report our institutional experience with the embolization of hypervascular extradural spinal tumors with Onyx as well as earlier embolic agents in a series of 28 patients.

METHODS: A retrospective case review was conducted on patients undergoing preoperative transarterial embolization of a spinal tumor between 1995 and 2012 at our institution.

RESULTS: Twenty-eight patients met the inclusion criteria, with a mean age of 60.6 years. Twenty-eight patients had metastatic tumors. In 14 (50%) patients the metastases were from renal cell carcinomas. Fifty-four vessels were embolized using PVA, NBCA, Onyx, coils, or embospheres. Sixteen patients were treated with Onyx, 6 patients with PVA, 3 patients with embospheres, 2 patients with NBCA, and 3 patients with a combination of embolic agents. The average decrease in tumor blush was 97.8% with Onyx versus 92.7% with the rest of the embolic agents (p=0.08). The estimated blood loss was 1616ml (range 350-5000ml). Blood loss was 750cm(3) on average with Onyx versus 1844 with the rest of the embolic agents (p=0.14). The mean length of stay was 16 days. The mortality rate was zero. Pre- and post-operative modified Rankin Score (mRS) did not differ significantly in the series (3.12 versus 3.10, respectively, p=0.9).

CONCLUSION: In our experience, the use of transarterial tumor embolization as an adjunct for spinal surgery is a safe and feasible option.

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