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Radiology. 2011 Nov;261(2):375-91. doi: 10.1148/radiol.11091207.

Percutaneous ablation in the kidney.

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Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, NIH Clinical Center, 10 Center Dr, Bldg 10, Room 1C369, MSC 1182, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Percutaneous ablation in the kidney is now performed as a standard therapeutic nephron-sparing option in patients who are poor candidates for resection. Its increasing use has been largely prompted by the rising incidental detection of renal cell carcinomas with cross-sectional imaging and the need to preserve renal function in patients with comorbid conditions, multiple renal cell carcinomas, and/or heritable renal cancer syndromes. Clinical studies to date indicate that radiofrequency ablation and cryoablation are effective therapies with acceptable short- to intermediate-term outcomes and with a low risk in the appropriate setting, with attention to pre-, peri-, and postprocedural detail. The results following percutaneous radiofrequency ablation and cryoablation in the treatment of renal cell carcinoma are reviewed in this article, including those of several larger scale studies of ablation of T1a tumors. Clinical and technical considerations unique to ablation in the kidney are presented, and potential complications are discussed.

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