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Strontium sr-89 chloride, therapeutic, per millicurie

HCPCS code

Name of the Procedure:

Common name: Strontium-89 Therapy Medical term: Strontium Sr-89 Chloride Therapy


Strontium Sr-89 Chloride Therapy is a medical treatment used for pain relief in patients with cancer that has spread to the bones. It involves the injection of a radioactive substance called strontium-89, which targets and helps alleviate bone pain caused by cancer.


Medical Conditions:
  • Bone metastases (cancer that has spread to the bones)
Goals and Expected Outcomes:
  • Pain relief in affected bone areas
  • Improve the quality of life for patients with advanced cancer


Specific Symptoms:
  • Severe bone pain due to metastatic cancer
Patient Criteria:
  • Diagnosed with cancer that has metastasized to the bones
  • Experiencing significant pain unmanageable by other medications


Pre-procedure Instructions:
  • No specific fasting required
  • Discontinue certain medications if advised by your doctor
Diagnostic Tests:
  • Blood tests to check overall health and bone marrow function

Procedure Description

  1. The patient receives an intravenous (IV) injection of strontium-89 chloride.
  2. Strontium-89 circulates through the bloodstream and localizes in the bone tissue.
  3. It emits radiation directly to the bone tumors, alleviating pain.

    Tools and Equipment:
    • IV injection equipment
    • Radiopharmaceutical (Strontium-89)
Anesthesia or Sedation:
  • Not required


  • The actual injection takes about 5-10 minutes.
  • Pain relief may begin within 1 to 2 weeks after the injection.


  • Performed in a hospital or an outpatient clinic with facilities to handle radioactive materials.


  • Oncologist
  • Nuclear medicine specialist
  • Registered nurse

Risks and Complications

Common Risks:
  • Mild reactions at the injection site
  • Temporary increase in bone pain (flare reaction)
Rare Complications:
  • Lowered blood cell counts, potentially leading to increased risk of infection or bleeding
  • Potential bone marrow suppression


  • Significant pain relief in bone metastases
  • Improved mobility and quality of life
  • Relief can last for several months


Post-procedure Care:
  • Hydration is encouraged
  • Regular monitoring of blood counts
Expected Recovery Time:
  • Minimal downtime required, most patients can continue with daily activities
  • Follow-up appointments as recommended by the healthcare provider


Other Treatment Options:
  • Oral or intravenous pain medications
  • Radiation therapy
  • Bisphosphonates (bone-strengthening drugs)
Pros and Cons of Alternatives:
  • Pain medications may not provide long-lasting relief
  • External radiation therapy can target specific bone areas but may not cover all painful sites
  • Bisphosphonates can strengthen bones but may not offer immediate pain relief

Patient Experience

During the Procedure:
  • Minor discomfort at the injection site
  • Generally, no pain during the injection
After the Procedure:
  • Potential slight increase in pain initially (flare reaction)
  • Pain relief usually felt within 1-2 weeks and can last for several months
  • Routine blood tests to monitor for side effects

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