Imaging-guided radiofrequency ablation of solid renal tumors

M. A. Farrell, W. J. Charboneau, D. S. DiMarco, G. K. Chow, H. Zincke, M. R. Callstrom, B. D. Lewis, R. A. Lee, C. C. Reading

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235 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. We performed a retrospective review of imaging-guided radiofrequency ablation of solid renal tumors. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Since May 2000, 35 tumors in 20 patients have been treated with radiofrequency ablation. The size range of treated tumors was 0.9-3.6 cm (mean, 1.7 cm). Reasons for patient referrals were a prior partial or total nephrectomy (nine patients), a comorbidity excluding nephrectomy or partial nephrectomy (10 patients), or a treatment alterative to nephron-sparing surgery (one patient who refused surgery). Tumors were classified as exophytic, intraparenchymal, or central. Sixteen patients had 31 lesions that showed serial growth on CT or MR imaging. Of these 16 patients, four patients with 10 lesions had a history of renal cell carcinoma, and two patients with 11 lesions had a history of von Hippel-Lindau disease. Four patients had incidental solid masses, two of which were biopsied and shown to represent renal cell carcinoma, and the remaining two masses were presumed malignant on the basis of imaging features. Successful ablation was regarded as any lesion showing less than 10 H of contrast enhancement on CT or no qualitative evidence of enhancement after IV gadolinium contrast-enhanced MR imaging. RESULTS. Of the 35 tumors, 22 were exophytic and 13 were intraparenchymal. Twenty-seven of the 35 were treated percutaneously using either sonography (n = 22) or CT (n = 5). Two patients had eight tumors treated intraoperatively using sonography. Patients were followed up with contrast-enhanced CT (n = 18), MR imaging (n = 5), or both (n = 5) with a follow-up range of 1-23 months (mean, 9 months). No residual or recurrent tumor and no major side effects were seen. CONCLUSION. Preliminary results with radiofrequency ablation of exophytic and intraparenchymal renal tumors are promising. Radiofrequency ablation is not associated with significant side effects. Further follow-up is necessary to determine the long-term efficacy of radiofrequency ablation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1509-1513
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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