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J Urol. 2008 Aug;180(2):499-504; discussion 504. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2008.04.031. Epub 2008 Jun 11.

Long-term oncological and overall outcomes of percutaneous radio frequency ablation in high risk surgical patients with a solitary small renal mass.

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  • 1The James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.



We present long-term outcomes in patients receiving RFA for solitary small renal masses.


We reviewed the overall oncological and survival outcomes of patients with a solitary renal mass treated with radio frequency ablation in whom it had been at least 40 months since treatment. Patients were offered radio frequency ablation due to the high risk of surgical management and surgeon preference. Followup consisted of serum creatinine measurement, physical examination and serial contrast enhanced computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging.


The 31 patients received a total of 34 radio frequency ablation treatments to a 1.0 to 4.0 cm solitary renal mass (median 2.0). Mean followup in survivors was 61.6 months (median 62.4, range 41 to 80). There was 1 primary treatment failure, which was successfully retreated. There were 3 recurrences 7, 13 and 31 months after radio frequency ablation, respectively. The overall recurrence-free survival rate was 90.3%. There was a 100% metastasis-free and disease specific survival rate in the cohort. Overall patient survival was 71.0% since 9 died of nonrenal cell carcinoma causes. Of the 31 patients 18 had pathologically confirmed renal cell carcinoma. In these 18 cases the actuarial disease specific, metastasis-free, recurrence-free and overall survival rates were 100%, 100%, 79.9% and 58.3%, respectively, at a mean of 57.4 months of followup. In the entire cohort the difference between the pretreatment and the last known serum creatinine level was 0.15 mg/dl (p = 0.06).


In patients who have limited life expectancy or are high risk surgical candidates radio frequency ablation provides reasonable long-term oncological control and it may have a role in the management of small renal masses. Meticulous long-term followup is required in patients receiving radio frequency ablation.

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