, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 1531-1534
Date: 28 Nov 2012

Atherosclerosis within the non-neoplastic margin of partial nephrectomy specimens: implications for medical management

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To describe the frequency and severity of atherosclerosis contained within the non-neoplastic tissue of partial nephrectomy (PN) specimens.


Archived open PN specimens were evaluated for histological evidence of atherosclerosis. Clinically significant atherosclerosis was defined as arterial luminal narrowing of >25 % due to fibrointimal thickening. Histological findings were correlated with clinical data including history of major medical comorbidities and preoperative statin use.


The study cohort was comprised of 114 patients (71 men and 43 women). The mean age at the time of surgery was 59.3 years, and 69 (60.5 %) patients had a history of at least one major medical comorbidity including hypertension (54.5 %), diabetes (16.7 %) and coronary artery disease (12.3 %). Clinically significant atherosclerosis was observed in 29 (25.4 %) patients. These individuals were older (p = 0.001), and three times more likely to have greater than one major medical comorbidity (p = 0.002). In addition, only 17 (58.6 %) were prescribed a statin at the time of surgery.


Atherosclerosis is frequently observed in the non-neoplastic tissue of PN specimens. Patients found to have atherosclerosis can potentially benefit from intensive lifestyle modification and medical therapy with lipid-lowering medications. These measures would likely have the greatest clinical impact on those patients without an existing history of major medical comorbidities.