Percutaneous Image-Guided Cryoablation as Second-Line Therapy of Soft-Tissue Venous Vascular Malformations of Extremities: A Prospective Study of Safety and 6-Month Efficacy


PURPOSE: To report the safety and short-term efficacy of percutaneous image-guided cryoablation performed as second-line therapy of venous vascular malformations (VVM) of extremities.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this non-blinded, no-randomized trial, cryoablation was proposed in 14 patients presenting with symptomatic VVM for recurrences after treatment. Eligibility criteria were: cryoablation feasible, localization at least 5 mm from skin and nerves, absence of contra-indication for anesthesia. Safety was evaluated by the common terminology criteria for adverse events (AE). Clinical response was assessed by evaluating pain at day 7, month 2 and 6 using visual analog scale; quality of life before cryoablation and at 2 and 6 months after using questionnaire. Evolution of volume was evaluated by MRI at 6 months. Comparison was performed using the Wilcoxon test.

RESULTS: A technical success was observed in all cases. While 11 patients (78.6%) presented AE (13 grade 1–2 and 3 grade 3), only two severe AE (grade 3) related to cryoablation occurred in two patients (14.3%) during the 6-month follow-up: one immediate sciatic paralysis and one delayed paresthesia. A clinical response was observed in 12 patients (85.7%) at 6 months. Pain decreased significantly from 42.5 ± 14.2 mm before the intervention to 11.8 ± 17.9 mm at 6 months (P = 0.002). A significant decrease in the mean volume from 12.8 ± 14.3 to 3 ± 2.7 cm3 was observed at 6 months (P = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS: Percutaneous cryoablation is a promising alternative treatment for sclerotherapy-resistant venous malformations. However, to improve safety, careful patient selection and treatment planning will be mandatory.

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Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2017 Sep;40(9):1358-1366.