Perspectives on the Role of Biopsy for Management of T1 Renal Masses: Survey Results From Two Regional Quality Improvement Collaboratives

Published:February 06, 2022DOI:



      To understand perspectives on renal mass biopsy, a survey was distributed to urologists in the Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative and Pennsylvania Urologic Regional Collaborative. Renal mass biopsy (RMB) may reduce treatment of benign renal neoplasms; however, utilization varies widely.

      Materials and Methods

      Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative and Pennsylvania Urologic Regional Collaborative are two quality improvement collaboratives that include a “real-world” collection of urologists from academic- and community-based settings. A 12-item survey assessing current RMB utilization, patient- and tumor-specific factors, adverse events, impact on management, and simulated patient scenarios was distributed. Responses are reported using descriptive statistics.


      Many responders (n = 54) indicated using RMB in less than 25% of cT1a (59%) and cT1b (85%) tumors. The most important patient-specific factors on the decision to recommend RMB were possible metastasis to the kidney (94%), patient comorbidity as a risk factor for active treatment (89%), and patient age (81%). The most important tumor-specific factors were the presence of bilateral tumors (81%), tumor size (70%) and perceived potential of performing nephron-sparing surgery (67%). Ten responders (19%) noted barriers to RMB in their practice, 23 (43%) recalled experiences with complications or poor outcomes, and 43 (80%) reported experiences where the results of RMB altered management. When presented with simulated patients, few urologists (9%-20%) recommended RMB in younger patients with any sized mass. Recommendations varied based on patient age, comorbidity, and tumor size.


      Understanding perspectives on RMB usage is essential prior to implementing quality improvement efforts. Most urologists participating in two statewide collaboratives infrequently recommend RMB. Optimizing RMB utilization may help reduce unnecessary treatments.
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