Gold fiducials are a unique marker for localization in the thoracic spine: A cost comparison with percutaneous vertebroplasty

Mohamed Macki, Mohamad Bydon, Kelly McGovern, Nicholas Abt, Rafael de la Garza-Ramos, Neal Naff, Ali Bydon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We present a unique application of the gold fiducial as a preoperative, radiographic marker placed in the thoracic spine and used for intraoperative localization. In comparison to percutaneous vertebroplasty marking of thoracic spinal levels with polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) cement, implantation of the gold fiducial is technically facile with a minimal learning curve. The fiducial markers are also associated with significantly less financial resources. Following 2013 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) coding, the cost of vertebroplasty under fluoroscopic guidance, $3195.43, or under computed tomography (CT) guidance, $3232.54, is more than double the cost of the gold fiducial implantation — $1237.55 and $1267.03, under similar imaging techniques, respectively. In the first description of gold fiducials in the thoracic spine, we conclude that the marker is a safe and cost-effective method for preoperative localization of the thoracic levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-927
Number of pages3
JournalNeurological research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014



  • Fiducial
  • Gold
  • Pedicle
  • Spine
  • Thoracic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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