Image-guided radiofrequency ablation of renal cell carcinoma
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- Boss, A., Clasen, S., Kuczyk, M. et al. Eur Radiol (2007) 17: 725. doi:10.1007/s00330-006-0415-y
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The incidence of renal cell carcinoma is rising with the increased number of incidental detection of small tumours. During the past few years, percutaneous imaging-guided radiofrequency ablation has evolved as a minimally invasive treatment of small unresectable renal tumours offering reduced patient morbidity and overall health care costs. In radiofrequency ablation, thermal energy is deposited into a targeted tumour by means of a radiofrequency applicator. In recent studies, radiofrequency ablation was shown to be an effective and safe modality for local destruction of renal cell carcinoma. Radiofrequency applicator navigation can be performed via ultrasound, computed tomography or magnetic resonance guidance; however, ultrasound seems less favourable because of the absence of monitoring capabilities during ablation. On-line monitoring of treatment outcome can only be performed with magnetic resonance imaging giving the possibility of eventual applicator repositioning to ablate visible residual tumour tissue. Long-term follow-up is crucial to assess completeness of tumour ablation. New developments in ablation technology and radiological equipment will further increase the indication field for radiofrequency ablation of renal cell carcinoma. Altogether, radiofrequency ablation seems to be a promising new modality for the minimally invasive treatment of renal cell carcinoma, which was demonstrated to exhibit high short-term effectiveness.