Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE)
This article from Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology addresses “Short-Term Effects of Genicular Artery Embolization on Symptoms and Bone Marrow Abnormalities in Patients with Refractory Knee Osteoarthritis.” In it, the authors suggest that one of the benefits of GAE is the improvement of pain and physical function in patients. Below is the abstract. Read the full article for more about the research done.
To evaluate the short-term outcomes of genicular artery embolization (GAE) for knee osteoarthritis (OA) with and without bone marrow lesion (BML) and/or subchondral insufficiency fracture of the knee (SIFK).
Materials and Methods
This single-institution prospective observational pilot study analyzed 24 knees in 22 patients with mild to moderate knee OA, including 8 knees without BML, 13 knees with BML, and 3 knees with both BML and SIFK. The area and volume of BMLs on magnetic resonance images were measured before and after GAE. Baseline and postoperative pain and physical function were assessed using the visual analog scale (VAS) and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC).
GAE significantly reduced the BML area and volume 3 months after embolization in the knees with BML (both P < .0005). GAE significantly decreased the VAS scores at 3 and 6 months after embolization in patients without BML (both P = .04) and those with BML (both P = .01). GAE also lowered the WOMAC scores 3 months after embolization in patients without and with BML (P = .02 and P = .0002, respectively). However, GAE did not significantly alter the BML area and volume (both P = .25), VAS scores (P = 1.00), and WOMAC scores (P = .08) in patients with BML and SIFK at 3 months after GAE.
This observational pilot study suggested that GAE effectively reduces the BML area and volume and improves pain and physical function in patients with knee OA accompanied by BML but is inefficacious in those with both BML and SIFK.