Oncology| Volume 122, P127-132, December 2018

Should We Separate the Pulmonary Surveillance Protocol for Postsurgical T1a and T1b Renal Cell Carcinoma? A Multicenter Database Analysis

Published:September 08, 2018DOI:



      To investigate the incidence of pulmonary metastases (PM) and the utility of the surveillance chest radiography (CXR) in detecting PM after curative treatment to better define surveillance recommendations for T1a and T1b renal cell carcinoma.

      Materials and Methods

      A retrospective review of a multi-institutional database was performed to include patients with renal masses treated with partial nephrectomy or radical nephrectomy. Patients were excluded for ≥T2 disease, benign pathology, and metastases. The primary outcome was the incidence of asymptomatic pulmonary lesion concerning for PM detected by CXR within 3 years.


      Five hundred sixty-eight patients met criteria of which 384 had T1a and 184 had T1b at a mean follow-up of 45 and 43 months, respectively. Patients averaged 2.96 and 2.99 CXRs for T1a and T1b with 46.8% having surveillance beyond 3 years. Indeterminate lesions were found in 5.7% (22) of T1a and 5.4% (10) in T1b of which 0.01% (2) and 1.1% (2) were confirmed PM by chest computed tomography and biopsy. Three-year CXR surveillance period detected asymptomatic PM in zero and two patients for T1a and T1b, respectively. High risk pathological features were not present in patients with PM. There was no difference in the incidence PM for patients undergoing partial nephrectomy (3/290) or radical nephrectomy (1/278) (P = .62).


      Our review suggests that post-treatment pulmonary surveillance should be reserved for T1b and may not be required for T1a given the low yield and false positives of CXR leading to unnecessary radiation and potential biopsies.
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