PURPOSE: To determine the safety and efficacy of radio-frequency (RF) ablation for pain reduction, quality of life improvement, and analgesics use reduction in patients with skeletal metastases. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Over 10 months, 12 adult patients with a single painful osteolytic metastasis in whom radiation therapy or c hemotherapy had failed and who reported severe pain (pain score ≥ 4 [scale of 0-10]) over a 24-hour period were treated with percutaneous imaging-guided RF ablation with a multitined electrode while under general anesthesia. Patient pain was measured with a Brief Pain Inventory 1 day after the procedure, every week for 1 month, and thereafter every other week (total follow-up, 6 months). Patient analgesics use was also recorded at these follow-up intervals. Follow-up contrast material-enhanced computed tomography was performed 1 week after the procedure. Complications were monitored. Analysis of the primary end point was undertaken with paired comparison procedures. RESULTS: Lesion size was 1-11 cm. Before RF ablation, mean worst pain score in a 24-hour period in 12 patients was 8.0 (range, 6-10). At 4 weeks after treatment, mean worst pain decreased to 3.1 (P = .001). Mean pain before treatment was 6.5 and decreased to 1.8 (P < .001) 4 weeks after treatment. Mean pain interference in general activity decreased from 6.6 to 2.7 (P = .002) 4 weeks after treatment. Eight of 10 patients using analgesics reported reduced use at some time after RF ablation. No serious complications were observed. CONCLUSION: RF ablation of painful osteolytic metastases is safe, and the relief of pain is substantial.
- Bone neoplasms, secondary
- Bone neoplasms, therapeutic radiology
- Computed tomography (CT), guidance
- Radio-frequency (RF) ablation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging