Oncology| Volume 133, P151-156, November 2019

Safety and Efficacy of Percutaneous Image-guided Cryoablation of Completely Endophytic Renal Masses



      To evaluate the safety, efficacy, and oncologic control of percutaneous image-guided cryoablation in the treatment of completely endophytic renal masses. Percutaneous image-guided cryoablation is a minimally invasive and effective treatment for small renal masses. Image-guided cryoablation is an attractive treatment for completely endophytic tumors given the challenge in visualization of such lesions during surgical extirpation.

      Materials and Methods

      A retrospective study evaluating percutaneous cryoablation of completely endophytic renal masses with normal overlying renal cortex was performed. From January 2003 to December 2015, 200 endophytic renal masses (RENAL score 3 – endophytic/exophytic) were identified from an internal renal ablation database. After imaging review, 49 tumors with completely intact overlying renal cortex in 47 patients were included in the study. Outcomes, including complications and oncologic efficacy were evaluated according to standard nomenclature.


      Patients comprised 37 men and 10 women (mean age 64.0 years) who underwent 48 cryoablation procedures to treat 49 renal masses. Mean tumor size was 2.5  ±  0.5 cm. Major complications occurred following 5 of the 48 (10%) procedures. Forty of 46 (87%) tumors with imaging follow-up were recurrence-free at a mean of 56 months. Five of six local recurrences were successfully retreated with cryoablatoin.


      Percutaneous thermal ablation of completely endophytic renal masses is a relatively safe procedure associated with acceptable complication and local tumor control rates. Given the complexities associated with partial nephrectomy, percutaneous cryoablation may be considered an alternative treatment for these select patients. Long-term follow-up studies are necessary to determine the durable efficacy of this treatment.
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