The PubMed database was searched for articles published from 1970 to 2018 describing patients with renal cell carcinoma who underwent partial nephrectomy with and without preoperative embolization of the tumor. Demographic data, procedural techniques, and surgical outcomes were obtained when available. A random-effects meta-analysis was performed to determine estimated blood loss in both groups of patients.
The literature search identified 14 relevant articles for systematic review, of which 4 articles provided sufficient data to be included in the meta-analysis. 270 patients (173 males, 97 females) underwent partial nephrectomy for RCC, of whom 222 received pre-operative embolization. There were 48 patients in our cohort that underwent partial nephrectomy for RCC without preoperative embolization. Random-effects meta-analysis demonstrated a significant difference between EBL in patients undergoing RAE prior to partial nephrectomy vs partial nephrectomy without preoperative embolization, with EBL of 154.0 ± 22.6 mL (n = 222) and 353.4 ± 69.6 mL (n = 478), respectively (p < 0.0001). Major complications occurred in 4.9% of patients undergoing pre-operative embolization followed by partial nephrectomy, whereas major complications occurred in 10.9% of patients undergoing partial nephrectomy without embolization (p = 0.01). Minor complications occurred in 5.8% of patients undergoing embolization and partial nephrectomy and in 19.0% of patients undergoing partial nephrectomy without embolization (p < 0.0001).
Renal artery embolization prior to surgical resection of renal cell carcinoma is safe and significantly reduces intraoperative blood loss in patients undergoing partial nephrectomy.
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