OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this article is to compare the efficacy and complication rates of percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and cryoablation in the treatment of renal masses measuring 3.0 cm and smaller. MATERIALS AND METHODS. A retrospective review was performed of 385 patients with 445 tumors measuring 3.0 cm or smaller treated with thermal ablation from 2000 through 2010. Two hundred fifty-six tumors in 222 patients were treated with RFA (mean [± SD] tumor size, 1.9 ± 0.5 cm), and 189 tumors in 163 patients were treated with cryoablation (mean tumor size, 2.3 ± 0.5 cm). Major complications and efficacy as measured by technical success and local tumor recurrence rates were recorded. RESULTS. There were five (1.1%) technical failures, including one (0.4%) among tumors treated with RFA and four (2.1%) among tumors treated with cryoablation (p = 0.17). Of the 218 tumors treated with RFA and with follow-up beyond 3 months, seven (3.2%) developed local tumor recurrence, at a mean of 2.8 years after treatment (range, 1.2-4.1 years). Of the 145 tumors treated with cryoablation and with follow-up beyond 3 months, four (2.8%) developed local tumor recurrence at a mean of 0.9 years after treatment (range, 0.3-1.6 years). For biopsy-proven renal cell carcinoma, estimated local recurrence-free survival rates at 1, 3, and 5 years after RFA were 100%, 98.1%, and 98.1%, respectively, compared with 97.3%, 90.6%, and 90.6%, respectively, after cryoablation (p = 0.09). Major complications occurred after 4.3% (10/232) of RFAs and 4.5% (8/176) of cryoablation procedures (p = 0.91). CONCLUSION. RFA and cryoablation are both effective in the treatment of renal masses measuring 3 cm or smaller. Major complications with either procedure are infrequent.
- Renal cell carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging