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Percutaneous Doxycycline Treatment of Juxtaphyseal Aneurysmal Bone Cysts

Shiels, William E. II DO; Beebe, Allan C. MD; Mayerson, Joel L. MD

Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics: March 2016 - Volume 36 - Issue 2 - p 205–212
doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000000413
Selected Topics

Background: A recurrence rate of 19% to 23% has been reported in juxtaphyseal aneurysmal bone cysts (ABC) without en bloc resection or amputation. No percutaneous surgical techniques or drug treatments have demonstrated consistent bone healing with normal physeal growth and a recurrence rate of <19%. Doxycycline has properties that may make it an appropriate agent for percutaneous treatment of juxtaphyseal ABC in skeletally immature patients.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 16 patients who underwent percutaneous treatment of ABCs with doxycycline from 2006 to 2011. The mean age was 7.1 years (range, 2 to 15 y). There were 16 treatment locations: humerus (9), tibia (3), fibula (2), femur (1), and ulna (1). Sixteen patients completed treatment involving 102 treatment sessions (2 to 14 sessions per patient). Treatment response was evaluated radiographically by measuring the lytic component, thickness of involved cortex, and signs of bony remodeling, and evidence of physeal growth arrest. Recurrence was indicated by new areas of lytic destruction after completion of treatment. The minimum follow-up was 18 months (mean, 39 mo).

Results: All 16 patients demonstrated reduction in lytic destruction, bony healing, and bony remodeling. One patient demonstrated recurrent minimal lytic destruction after 20 months of observation. Seven patients (7/16, 44%) demonstrated physeal ABC involvement; 5 of 7 patients healed with a physeal bone bridge, all ≤15% of the physeal surface area, 1 with mild central physeal deformity. All patients with focal transphyseal ABC involvement (4/4, 100%) demonstrated focal bone bridge after treatment. No patient had diffuse physeal growth arrest; only patients with intraphyseal or transphyseal ABC involvement had focal physeal growth arrest.

Conclusions: In this series, patients undergoing percutaneous doxycycline treatment of juxtaphyseal ABCs demonstrated ABC healing and a recurrence rate of 6% at >18 months. Patients without physeal ABC involvement demonstrated no evidence of physeal growth arrest.

Level of Evidence: Level IV—therapeutic study.

Departments of *Radiology

Orthopedic Surgery, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: William E. Shiels II, DO, Department of Radiology, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University Medical Center, 700 Children’s Drive, Room K140, Columbus, OH 43205. E-mail:

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