To report our experience of percutaneous image-guided cryoablation of renal tumors located within 10 mm of the pyeloureteric junction (PUJ) and/or ureter, with hydrodissection as a stand-alone thermoprotective technique.
All patients who were offered combined hydrodissection and cryoablation of the PUJ/ureter to treat stage-1 renal cell carcinoma were retrospectively reviewed. Data regarding patients, lesions, and outcomes were collected.
Twenty tumors in 20 patients (13 males:7 females) with a mean age of 74.4 ± 7.5 were included. Mean tumor size was 27.6 ± 6.4 mm. Nearby vulnerable structure(s) were identified as the ureter in 5/20 cases, the PUJ in 8/20 cases and both the PUJ and the ureter in the remaining 7/20 cases (35%) cases. Mean minimal distance between the tumor and the vulnerable organ(s) was 4.8 ± 2.6 mm (range 0-10). A mean of 1.7 ± 0.6 spinal needles were used per intervention with a mean time to complete hydrodissection of 18.6 ± 13.4 min. Primary and secondary technical efficacy rates were 90% and 95%, respectively. Mean follow-up was 23.1 ± 9.2 months. There were no immediate or delayed complications, in particular no urothelial strictures. Two tumor recurrences occurred during follow-up, with a time to disease progression of 13 and 31 months, respectively.
hydrodissection of the PUJ/ureter to prevent thermal injury during cryoablation is an effective technique and does not seem to compromise the efficacy of ablation at short or mid-term follow-up.