CT Guided Ablation of T1 Renal Tumors

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: The widespread use of medical imaging contributes to the increased detection of incidentally detected small renal tumors, a majority which are often indolent masses found in elderly patients with preexisting chronic kidney disease. In Sweden, partial nephrectomy with minimal invasive surgical approach is the current standard for removing these tumors, although another option is percutaneous image-guided tumor ablation that allows treatment of elderly patients with comorbidities for who surgery is a risk. Due to the lack of long-term follow-up studies and prospective randomized trials, ablation is still considered an alternative option to surgery in Sweden. The aim of this thesis was to evaluate treatment of T1 renal tumors with CT guided radiofrequency (RFA) and microwave ablation (MWA).Factors affecting the efficacy rate of complete tumor ablation with RFA after a single session were evaluated (Paper I). Optimal electrode placement and a long tumor distance to the collecting system were associated with an increased primary efficacy. Renal tumor RFA was compared with laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (LPN: Papers II-III): both methods had comparable secondary efficacy rates, but RFA involved several treatment sessions. Total session times and hospitalization times were shorter and complications less frequent for RFA than for LPN (Paper II). After treatment, renal function impact was assessed by evaluation of both renal function quantity and quality through determination of the split renal function (SRF: Paper III). Standard renal function measurements were assessed and both RFA and LPN were nephron sparing when treating small renal tumors and did not affect creatinine or GFR. However, LPN involved greater SRF reduction in the affected kidney than RFA. Initial experience with microwave ablation was evaluated and this new ablation technique demonstrated high efficacy rates with fewer complications, and was comparable with the mid-term results of now established ablation techniques (Paper IV).In conclusion, CT guided RFA and MWA are safe and effective treatments for the removal of T1 renal tumors. This thesis provides further insights into the field of thermal ablation of small renal masses, which can aid future treatment selection and patient management.