Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the amount of radiation exposure patients with small renal masses undergoing percutaneous cyroablation (PCA) or percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (PRFA) received during treatment and follow up.
Materials and methods: A retrospective review was conducted on all patients with small renal masses <4 cm treated with PCA or PRFA over a 7-year period in a single academic center. Preoperative, operative, and post-operative variables were collected and compared. Radiation exposure received during treatment and 1 year of follow up were also determined for each modality. Statistical analysis was conducted using SPSS V.17 (SPSS, Chicago, IL). The groups were compared using the Mann-Whitney U and Pearson Chi-Square tests. Statistical significance was considered at p<0.05.
Results: There was no significant difference in pretreatment parameters or oncologic outcomes. The average PCA treatment radiation exposure was 39.7 mSv (15.5-133.4 mSv) compared with 22.2 mSv (8.1-67.7 mSv) for PRFA (p=0.001). During the initial year after treatment, the estimated mean treatment and follow-up radiation exposure for PCA was 134.5 mSv, compared with 117 mSv for RFA when routine computerized tomography imaging was employed.
Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first published study that quantifies radiation exposure in PCA and PRFA treatment for small renal masses. These relatively high radiation exposures should be included in the informed consent for these procedures. In addition, caution should be employed when applying these technologies in young patients who are most susceptible to long-term radiation damage.