Int J Urol. 2006;13:1375-1379


Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of small renal tumors is a promising alternative to surgery, investigators in Poland report.

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A team led by Marek Salagierski, MD, of the Medical University of Lodz, analyzed 45 percutaneous ultrasound-guided RFA procedures in 42 selected patients (mean age 68 years) with renal tumors who either had contraindications to surgery or had a solitary kidney. The patients had an average tumor diameter of 37.5 mm. The average follow-up was 14 months (range 3-36 months).


A total absence of contrast enhancement was observed for 42 tumors (93%) following initial RFA and in the remaining three tumors after a second RFA. To date, all patients are alive, and none have experienced local recurrences, although one patient experienced metastasis to an ipsilateral adrenal gland. That gland was removed. Only four of the 45 procedures were associated with complications; no complications occurred following ablation of renal tumors smaller than 35 mm in diameter.


“Radiofrequency ablation gives a chance for patients who are not suitable for surgery to recover from kidney malignancies,” the authors wrote, noting that complications are infrequent and the procedure is well tolerated, safe, and can be successfully repeated in case of incomplete tumor destruction.