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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 1/2015

An MRI-based feasibility study of unilateral percutaneous vertebroplasty

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2015
Haijun Li, Lei Yang, Jian Tang, Dawei Ge, Hao Xie, Jinhua Chen, Lipeng Yu, Haifeng Wei, Weizhong Tian, Tao Sui, Xiaojian Cao
Wichtige Hinweise
Haijun Li and Lei Yang contributed equally to this work.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

Haijun Li ,Lei Yang and Xiaojian Cao conceived of the study, performed all operations and drafted the manuscript. Jian Tang and Dawei Ge participated in the design of the study. Hao Xie, Jinhua Chen, Lipeng Yu, Haifeng Wei, Weizhong Tian and Tao Sui collected the patients’ image data. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) has been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of osteoporotic fracture. The bilateral pedicular approach is the most frequently used method. However, unilateral PVP is becoming increasingly more attractive for surgeons because of its numerous benefits, including lower radiation exposure, less tissue injury, and less bone cement leakage. The purpose of this study was to investigate the anatomical feasibility of unilateral PVP by exploring the differences in the puncture success rate of the unilateral pedicular approach among different lumbar segments, between men and women, and between the left and right sides.


Punctures were simulated on magnetic resonance imaging scans of 200 patients (100 men, 100 women) at a maximum angle via a pedicular approach. The distance between the entry point and the midline of the vertebral body, the maximum puncture angle, the puncture success value, and the puncture success rate were measured and compared among different lumbar levels, between the two sexes, and between the left and right sides.


The maximum puncture distance between the entry point and the midline gradually increased from L1 to L5, and the maximum puncture angle showed the same tendency from L1 to L5. The puncture success values for L3 and L4 were higher than those for the other lumbar levels (L1, 31.53 ± 34.45; L2, 42.15 ± 28.06; L3, 56.21 ± 18.30; L4, 56.20 ± 12.93; and L5, 48.01 ± 6.88). The puncture success rates varied from 69.5 to 98.0 % among the different lumbar levels; L3 and L4 were the two highest (L3, 95.5 %; L4, 98.0 %). There were significant differences in these measurements between men and women and between the left and right sides.


PVP with the unilateral puncture approach appears more likely to succeed at L3 to L5 than at L1 and L2. The unilateral approach might be more suitable for men than women at levels other than L5. Additionally, the left pedicular approach might be optimal for unilateral PVP procedures.
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