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J Urol. 2011 Jul;186(1):35-41. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2011.03.024. Epub 2011 May 14.

Image guided percutaneous probe ablation for renal tumors in 65 solitary kidneys: functional and oncological outcomes.

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  • 1Section of Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery, Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.



We evaluated the oncological and functional outcomes of computerized tomography guided percutaneous cryotherapy or radio frequency ablation of kidney tumors in patients with a solitary kidney.


We reviewed the medical charts of patients with a solitary kidney who underwent percutaneous probe ablation for renal masses at our institution from April 2002 through March 2010. Followup consisted of computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging 1 day postoperatively, at 3, 6 and 12 months, and annually thereafter. Serum creatinine and estimated glomerular filtration rate were used to measure renal function. The cryotherapy and radio frequency ablation groups were compared for demographics, the 2-year actuarial survival rate and renal function.


Overall 65 patients were included in this retrospective analysis, of whom 29 (44.6%) underwent cryotherapy and 36 (55.4%) underwent radio frequency ablation. Median followup was 15.1 (IQR 4.4 to 32.9) and 38.8 months (13.8 to 50.7), respectively. The 2 groups were comparable in median age, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, tumor size and preoperative estimated glomerular filtration rate. The 3 primary treatment failures, including 1 after cryotherapy and 2 after radio frequency ablation, were successfully re-treated with thermal ablation. There were 14 recurrences after radio frequency ablation and 3 after cryotherapy. Two-year actuarial overall, cancer specific, recurrence-free and metastasis-free survival rates for cryotherapy vs radio frequency ablation were 89% vs 93%, 100% vs 96%, 69% vs 58% and 86% vs 91%, respectively. For each group no significant decrease in renal functional parameters was found at the latest followup visit.


Computerized tomography guided percutaneous probe ablation represents a safe treatment option in surgical patients at high risk with a solitary kidney. It provides low morbidity, acceptable short-term cancer control and minimal clinical impact on postoperative renal function.

Copyright © 2011 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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