Histologic Evaluation of the Depth of Necrosis Produced by Argon Beam Coagulation: Implications for Use as Adjuvant Treatment of Bone Tumors


Argon beam coagulation (ABC) has been advocated as adjuvant treatment after curettage of aggressive benign bone tumors. This study was done to evaluate the depth of necrosis in cancellous bone treated with ABC. A 6-month-old pig was sacrificed and 20 1.5-cm cortical windows were created in the metaphyseal areas of the humeri, femora, and tibiae, exposing the underlying cancellous bone. The defects were randomly assigned to four groups: A, control; B, ABC at 50 W; C, 100 W; and D, 150 W. Histologic evaluation determined the depth of necrosis at each setting: A, 0.1 š 0.1 mm; B, 1.0 š 0.5 mm; C, 2.9 š 1.0 mm; and D, 4.2 š 0.7 mm. There were statistically significant differences between each of the experimental groups and the control (p < .0001), between groups B and C (p < .0001), and groups C and D (p D .0002). (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 18(2):69–73, 2009)

Robert K. Heck, Jr., MD, Wood D. Pope, MD, Jae I. Ahn, MD, Richard A. Smith, PhD,
and Bruce L. Webber, MD