[Embolization of skeletal metastases in patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma]

J W Smit, T P Links, J M Hew, B M Goslings, G J Vielvoye, A Vermey
Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde 2000 July 15, 144 (29): 1406-10
Treatment options in patients with bone metastases of differentiated thyroid carcinoma are limited and mostly aimed at palliation. Conventional treatment modalities are: radioiodine therapy, surgery or external irradiation. A lesser known option is selective embolization of tumour metastases. During selective catheterization of the arteries that feed the metastases embolization material (e.g. polyvinyl alcohol particles) is injected into the local vasculature under radiographic control. The embolization is immediately evaluated angiographically. This therapy was used in three patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma, a 60-year-old man suffering from back ache, paresis and afterwards paralysis of the lower body parts with incontinence, and in two women aged 59 years (suffering from diplopia and a pelvic metastasis) and aged 27 years (suffering from neurological symptoms or pain of the right leg due to a pelvic metastasis). In all three the symptoms disappeared after the embolization and ensuing treatment with radioactive iodine. Due to recurrent increase in serum thyroglobulin concentration repeated re-embolization was necessary, but during a follow-up period of 3-5 years the palliation remained adequate. Selective embolization appears to be a safe and efficacious treatment, with good tolerability for the patient. Embolization alone or preferably preceded by radioiodine therapy may lead to decreased tumour progression and often gives rise to immediate relief of symptoms.

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