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SIR: Studies Show Benefits of Vertebroplasty in Two Groups

Procedure reduces pain, disability in patients with osteoporosis, aids in multiple myeloma

TUESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Vertebroplasty is associated with reduced pain and disability in patients with osteoporosis and vertebral collapse, and is also useful in treating vertebral compression fractures in patients with multiple myeloma, according to research presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology, held from March 13 to 18 in Tampa, Fla.

Giovanni C. Anselmetti, M.D., of the Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment in Turin, Italy, and colleagues analyzed data from 1,542 patients with osteoporosis and magnetic resonance imaging-confirmed vertebral collapse who underwent vertebroplasty. All had tried three months of optimal medical treatment that didn't relieve pain or improve quality of life. Oswestry Disability Questionnaire scores dropped from 68.7 before the procedure to 18.5 after the procedure. Over an average follow-up of 31.2 months, scores on an 11-point visual analog scale dropped from 7.9 to 1.3. Of 757 patients needing a back brace before the procedure, 683 stopped wearing one after treatment.

In a second study, Eren Erdem, M.D., of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, and colleagues analyzed data from 792 patients with multiple myeloma who had 2,258 non-osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures treated with vertebroplasty and 457 treated with kyphoplasty. Their pain intensity score on an 11-point visual analog scale dropped from 7 to 2.7. Thirty-seven percent reported using less medication, and 48 percent reported improvement in their activity level after the procedure.

"Vertebral compression fractures are very common in patients with multiple myeloma and cause severe pain and debilitation. In our study, patients' pain from their spinal fractures was significantly reduced following vertebroplasty, resulting in about a 40 percent reduction in the use of narcotics for pain control," Erdem noted in a published statement.

Abstract - Anselmetti
Press Release - Anselmetti
Abstract - Erdem
Press Release - Erdem
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