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Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2006 Sep-Oct;29(5):811-8.

Experiences in US-guided percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of 44 renal tumors in 31 patients: analysis of predictors for complications and technical success.

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Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University of Turin, Via Genova 3, Turin 10126, Italy.



Preliminary clinical studies have shown the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of radiofrequency thermal ablation (RFA) of renal tumors, but only a few have analyzed the prognostic factors for technical success and there are no long-term results. Our objective was to statistically evaluate our mid-term results of percutaneous US-guided RFA in order to define predictors for complications and technical success.


We selected for treatment 44 tumors in 31 patients (24 with renal cell carcinoma, 7 with hereditary tumors, 15 with a solitary kidney), up to 5 cm in diameter.


Eight adverse events occurred; 3 (6.8%) were major complications, successfully treated with interventional radiology procedures in 2 cases. Exophytic extension of the tumor was protective against complications (p = 0.040). Technical success was obtained in 38 lesions after one RFA session and in 39 (89%) after one more session, when possible. At the end of treatment, central extension was the only negative predictor for technical success (p = 0.007), while neither size >3 cm (p = 0.091) nor other prognostic factors were statistically significant.


US-guided percutaneous RFA can be proposed for non-central renal tumors up to 5 cm, also in patients without surgical contraindications, thanks to a low incidence of complications and a high success rate. Randomized controlled trials versus surgery are now needed to investigate long-term comparative results.

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