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Adv Urol. 2008:196701. doi: 10.1155/2008/196701.

Surveillance for the management of small renal masses.

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Department of Urology, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria.


Surveillance is a new management option for small renal masses (SRMs) in aged and infirm patients with short-life expectancy. The current literature on surveillance of SRM contains mostly small, retrospective studies with limited data. Imaging alone is inadequate for suggesting the aggressive potential of SRM for both diagnosis and followup. Current data suggest that a computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) every 3 months in the 1st year, every 6 months in the next 2 years, and every year thereafter, is appropriate for observation. The authors rather believe in active surveillance with mandatory initial and followup renal tumor biopsies than classical observation. Since not all SRMs are harmless, selection criteria for active surveillance need to be improved. In addition, there is need for larger studies in order to better outline oncological outcome and followup protocols.

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