To assess the effect of preoperative embolization on blood loss during surgical repair of bone metastases from renal cell carcinoma and provide long-term follow-up.

Sixteen patients with bone metastases underwent preoperative embolization. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) particles were used for 13 patients (three with additional coils), and coils alone were used in three patients. Surgery was performed within 24 hours in four patients, and within 36-120 hours in 12 patients. Bone healing was evaluated radiographically and clinically.

Tumor stain was obliterated by more than 70% in 12 patients, 51%-69% in two patients, and less than 50% in two patients. Estimated blood loss (EBL) during surgery ranged from 100 to 1,000 mL (mean, 533 mL). EBL was significantly less when more than 70% of the tumor stain was obliterated (460 mL vs 750 mL; P < .01 ). There were no significant differences in EBL between the patients who underwent surgery within 24 hours (575 mL) and those who underwent surgery more than 36 hours after embolization (402 mL) when PVA was used. Bone healing was achieved in all patients. Survival ranged from 3 to 56 months (median, 12 months).

Preoperative embolization reduced intraoperative blood loss without adverse effects on healing. Best results were achieved when more than 70% of the tumor stain was obliterated.

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