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Management of Renal Tumors by Image-Guided Radiofrequency Ablation: Experience in 105 Tumors

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In this article we present our experience with radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in the treatment of 105 renal tumors.

Materials and Methods

RFA was performed on 105 renal tumors in 97 patients, with a mean tumor size of 32 mm (11–68 mm). The mean patient age was 71.7 years (range, 36–89 years). The ablations were carried out under ultrasound (= 43) or CT (= 62) guidance. Imaging follow-up was by contrast-enhanced CT within 10 days and then at 6-monthly intervals. Multivariate analysis was performed to determine variables associated with procedural outcome.


Eighty-three tumors were completely treated at a single sitting (79%). Twelve of the remaining tumors were successfully re-treated and a clinical decision was made not to re-treat seven patients. A patient with a small residual crescent of tumor is under follow-up and may require further treatment. In another patient, re-treatment was abandoned due to complicating pneumothorax and difficult access. One patient is awaiting further re-treatment. The overall technical success rate was 90.5%. Multivariate analysis revealed tumor size to be the only significant variable affecting procedural outcome. (= 0.007, Pearson χ2) Five patients had complications. There have been no local recurrences.


Our experience to date suggests that RFA is a safe and effective, minimally invasive treatment for small renal tumors.

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We would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr. R. Mehta and Dr. G. Yadegarfar for their assistance with the statistical analyses for this case series.

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Correspondence to David J. Breen.

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Breen, D.J., Rutherford, E.E., Stedman, B. et al. Management of Renal Tumors by Image-Guided Radiofrequency Ablation: Experience in 105 Tumors. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 30, 936–942 (2007).

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