Safety and Efficacy of Retrograde Pyeloperfusion for Ureteral Protection during Renal Tumor Cryoablation

Joseph T. Marion, John J. Schmitz, Grant D. Schmit, Anil N. Kurup, Brian T. Welch, Jeffrey J. Pasternak, Stephen A. Boorjian, Bradley C. Leibovich, Thomas D. Atwell, Robert Houston Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine safety and efficacy of retrograde pyeloperfusion for ureteral protection during cryoablation of adjacent renal tumors. Materials and Methods: Retrospective review of 155 patients treated with renal cryoablation, including adjunctive retrograde pyeloperfusion, from 2005 to 2019 was performed. Ice contacted the ureter in 67 of the 155 patients who represented the study cohort. Median patient age was 68 years old (interquartile range [61, 74]), 52 patients (78%) were male, and 37 tumors (55%) were clear cell histology. Mean tumor size was 3.4 ± 1.3 cm, and 42 tumors (63%) were located at the lower pole. Treatment-related complication and oncologic outcomes were recorded based on a review of post-procedural images and chart review. Results: Technical success of cryoablation was attained in 67 cases (100%), and technical success of pyeloperfusion was attained in 66 cases (99%). A total of 13 patients (19.4%) experienced SIR major C or D complications related to the procedure, including hemorrhage (n = 4), urine leak (n = 3), transient urinary obstruction (n = 2), pulmonary embolism (n = 1), hypertensive urgency (n = 1), acute respiratory failure (n = 1), and ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) stricture (n = 1). No complications were attributable to pyeloperfusion. Three of 45 patients with biopsy-proven renal cell carcinoma experienced local recurrence resulting in local recurrence-free survival of 92% (95% confidence interval, 81.5%–100%) 3 years after ablation. Conclusions: Retrograde pyeloperfusion of the renal collecting system is a relatively safe and efficacious option for ureteral protection during renal tumor cryoablation. This adjunctive procedure should be considered for patients in whom cryoablation of a renal mass could potentially involve the ureter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1249-1255
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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