Percutaneous image-guided cryoablation of spinal metastases: over 10-year experience in two academic centers

Roberto Luigi Cazzato, Jack W. Jennings, Pierre Alexis Autrusseau, Pierre De Marini, Pierre Auloge, Anderanik Tomasian, Julien Garnon, Afshin Gangi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objectives: To report on safety and clinical effectiveness of cryoablation for the treatment of spinal metastases (SM) in patients needing pain palliation or local tumor control (LTC). Methods: All consecutive patients with SM who underwent cryoablation from May 2008 to September 2020 in two academic centers were retrospectively identified and included in the present analysis. Patient characteristics, goal of treatment (curative/palliative), SM characteristics, procedural details, and clinical outcomes (pain relief; local tumor control [LTC]) were analyzed. Results: There were 74 patients (35 women; median age 61 years) accounting for 105 SM. Additional cementoplasty was used for 76 SM (76/105; 72.4%). There were 9 complications (out of 105 SM [8.5%]; 2 major and 7 minor) in 8 patients. Among the 64 (64/74; 86.5%) patients with painful SM, the mean Numerical Pain Rating Scale dropped from 6.8 ± 2.2 (range, 0–10) at the baseline to 4.1 ± 2.4 (range, 0–9; p < 0.0001) at 24 h, 2.5 ± 2.6 (range, 0–9; p < 0.0001) at 1 month, and 2.4 ± 2.5 (range, 0–9; p < 0.0001) at the last available follow-up (mean 14.7 ± 19.6 months; median 6). Thirty-four patients (34/64; 53.1%) were completely pain-free at the last follow-up. At mean 25.9 ± 21.2 months (median 16.5) of follow-up, LTC was achieved in 23/28 (82.1%) SM in 21 patients undergoing cryoablation with curative intent. Conclusion: Cryoablation of SM, often performed in combination with vertebral augmentation, is safe, achieves fast and sustained pain relief, and provides high rates of LTC at mean 2-year follow-up. Key Points: •Cryoablation of spinal metastases is safe. •Cryoablation of spinal metastases allows rapid and sustained pain relief. •The mean 2-year rate of local tumor control after cryoablation of spinal metastases is 82.1%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4137-4146
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Cryoablation
  • Metastasis
  • Spine
  • Vertebroplasty


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