DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1771159 ISSN:

Safety and Efficacy of Genicular Artery Embolization for the Treatment of Knee Pain Secondary to Osteoarthritis—Initial Indian Experience

Ujjwal Gorsi, Damandeep Singh, Mandeep Kang, Vishal Kumar, Mahesh Prakash, Sreedhara B.C
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Background Osteoarthritis (OA) is the commonest form of arthritis with pain and disability as hallmark symptoms. Despite various nonpharmacologic, pharmacologic, and surgical approaches, pain control may be hard to achieve. Over the last few years, few studies have been conducted on managing knee OA using novel endovascular genicular artery embolization (GAE) with varied outcomes. No such study has been reported in India yet to the best of our knowledge.

Purpose The main aim of this article was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of transcatheter GAE in relieving knee pain in patients with mild-to-moderate OA.

Materials and Methods Ten patients with radiographic knee OA and moderate-to-severe pain refractory to conservative therapy were enrolled in a prospective observational study. GAE was performed with 100 to 300-μm spherical particles. Patients were assessed with magnetic resonance imaging at the baseline. Visual analog scale (VAS) and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) were used to assess pain and disability respectively at the baseline, 1 month, and 3 months. Clinical success was asserted by the downstaging of VAS and WOMAC scores. Adverse events were recorded at all-time points. Descriptive and inferential statistics have been performed using SPSS. A p-value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results Embolization of at least 1 genicular artery was achieved in all the patients (100%). Clinical success was demonstrated in 08 (80%) of the patients. Median VAS reduced from 07 at baseline to 3.5 at 3-month follow-up (p < 0.001). Median WOMAC score improved from 53 to 23.50 at 3-month follow-up (p < 0.001). Minor complications were seen in two patients in the form of puncture site hematoma and mild petechial spots over the knee.

Conclusion Our pilot study demonstrates GAE as a safe and efficacious procedure to treat knee pain secondary to OA. Further randomized comparative studies with a larger sample size are needed to determine the true treatment effect versus the placebo effect.

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