Aneurysmal Bone Cyst: Evaluating Success of Radiofrequency Thermal Ablation

Treatment of aneurysmal bone cyst using radiofrequency thermal ablation (RFTA) seems to be clinically successful and curative, researchers reported.

There are a variety of treatments available for aneurysmal bone cysts, and some of these come with challenges for orthopedic surgeons, particularly cases in which large lesions are close to key neurovascular structures. In such circumstances, minimally invasive percutaneous procedures are preferable and also allow shorter recovery time for the patient.

In this study, researchers treated 12 men and 8 women who presented with painful aneurysmal bone cysts in different anatomical locations. The lesions had a mean size of 32.25 ± 7.15 mm and a range of 18.0-43.0 mm. Eleven cases were treated with RFTA only, and 9 cases were treated with RFTA with cementation. After treatment, patients were closely followed radiologically and clinically for 1 month, 6 months, and 1 year.

“Close follow-up for the patients proved that (RFTA) is a clinically successful and curative treatment as there was significant reduction in the mean (±SD) of the (VAS) pain score in all treated cases from 8.40 ± 1.23 before the intervention to 0.20 ± 0.41 at the end of follow-up period,” the study’s authors wrote. They added that there were no postprocedural complications or recurrence during the follow-up period.

According to the authors, appropriate selection of patients and the involvement of a multidisciplinary team for consultation are important to facilitating successful outcomes. “Overall, this minimally invasive technique represents a burgeoning field of interventional and musculoskeletal radiology,” they concluded.


Zarzour OA, Santiago FR, Serrano NO, Abdallah AH, El-Sharkawy MA, Mourad AF. CT-guided radiofrequency ablation in patients with aneurysmal bone cysts. Eur J Radiol. 2018 Mar;100:116-123. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2018.01.020.