Background Osteolytic lesions of the atlas (C1) are challenging to treat by vertebroplasty due to the vicinity of the vertebral artery and the spinal cord.
Objective To present our experience with transoral vertebroplasty (TOV) for osteolytic lesions of the lateral mass of the atlas.
Methods Retrospective case series involving 15 consecutive patients (nine male, six female, mean age 63 years) who underwent TOV for the treatment of an osteolytic lesion of the lateral mass of the atlas. Among the osteolytic lesions, 10/15 (67%) were bone metastases from various cancers; 4/15 (27%) were lesions related to multiple myeloma; and one lesion (7%) was an aggressive hemangioma. All the TOVs were performed under general anesthesia and in most cases (10/15; 67%) in a hybrid angiosuite combining a C-arm flat panel and a CT scan. The remaining five patients were treated under biplane fluoroscopic guidance.
Results Vertebroplasty of the lateral mass of C1 through a transoral route was feasible in all cases. Significant pain relief was obtained in most cases (1 month average decrease in Numeric Rating Scale: 4.9±4.1). No major complication was recorded. In 7/15 cases (47%), cement leakage surrounding the C1 lateral mass was seen; none of these leakages had a significant clinical consequence. No additional spine surgery was required in any of the patients.
Conclusion TOV of osteolytic lesions of the lateral mass of the atlas is feasible and seems safe and effective, providing pain relief and bone stabilization.
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Contributors FC: data collection, manuscript writing. ES:data collection, critical review of the manuscript. EC, KP, FDM: data collection. MD, GL, VM, RB, J-PS, RH, HP-M, JC: critical review of the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests FC reports conflict of interest with Medtronic, Guerbet, Balt Extrusion, Penumbra (payment for readings; non-related to the study), Codman Neurovascular and Microvention (core laboratory; non-related to the study).
Patient consent for publication Obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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