CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology

, Volume 41, Issue 10, pp 1573–1578 | Cite as

Infectious Outcomes from Renal Tumor Ablation: Prophylactic Antibiotics or Not?

  • Daniel Crawford
  • Eric vanSonnenbergEmail author
  • Paul Kang
Clinical Investigation Non-Vascular Interventions
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Non-Vascular Interventions



Variability exists among institutions and physicians regarding the use of prophylactic antibiotics for ablation of renal tumors. The literature was reviewed for infectious complications vis-à-vis the reported use of prophylactic antibiotics for tumor ablation of renal neoplasms.

Materials and Methods

PubMed was searched for articles reporting radiofrequency ablation, cryoablation, and microwave ablation of renal masses, both by percutaneous and laparoscopic approaches. Data regarding potentially infectious outcomes, prophylactic antibiotic use or not, patient information, lesion characteristics, and procedural specifics were extracted from relevant articles.


Fifty-one articles met the inclusion criteria. Potentially infectious complications occurred in 74/6952 patients (1.06%) if fever is included, but only 29 patients (0.42%) if fever is excluded. Prophylactic antibiotics were reported in 373 patients and were not mentioned in 6579 patients. The incidence of fever was higher with the laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation and cryoablation compared to the percutaneous approach (p < 0.001).


Prophylactic antibiotics seldom are used and/or reported in renal tumor ablation, and when they are, the antibiotic regimens vary widely. Even so, infectious complications in renal tumor ablation are uncommon. The similar and very low rates of infectious outcomes among ablation types and the two access approaches (laparoscopic and percutaneous) suggest that prophylactic antibiotics for routine renal tumor ablation are unnecessary.


Ablation Radiofrequency ablation Cryoablation Microwave ablation Renal tumors Kidney cancer 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics Approval

For this type of study formal consent is not required. This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

270_2018_2043_MOESM1_ESM.docx (99 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 99 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature and the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Crawford
    • 1
  • Eric vanSonnenberg
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Paul Kang
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Arizona College of Medicine – PhoenixPhoenixUSA
  2. 2.David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLALos AngelesUSA

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