OBJECTIVES--The aim of this study was to evaluate the long term effect of radiation synovectomy with yttrium-90 silicate in haemophiliac patients with recurrent haemarthrosis. METHODS--The bleeding frequency and the mobility of the joint were recorded in 16 joints of 14 patients 1 year before radiosynovectomy and during follow up, which ranged from 3 to 6 years. Patients evaluated the effect of their own treatment by completing a questionnaire. Radiographs of the joints were scored by an independent radiologist before treatment. RESULTS--A satisfactory reduction of the frequency of haemorrhage was achieved in 94% of joints during the first year after treatment and was maintained in 63% until the end of the follow up period. In general there was no decrease in mobility attributable to radiosynovectomy, and the patients' own evaluations agreed with the evaluations based on the frequencies of haemarthrosis in 75%. Patients who had only minor, or no, radiological abnormalities of the joints before treatment showed the best results. One patient developed synovitis as a complication of the radiosynovectomy. CONCLUSION--Radiosynovectomy is an effective and safe treatment for recurrent haemarthrosis in haemophiliac patients, especially in those who have joints with no or minor radiological damage.
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