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Review
. 2015 Jun;193(6):1889-98.
doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2015.01.093. Epub 2015 Jan 29.

Decline in Renal Function After Partial Nephrectomy: Etiology and Prevention

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Review

Decline in Renal Function After Partial Nephrectomy: Etiology and Prevention

Maria C Mir et al. J Urol. .

Abstract

Purpose: Partial nephrectomy is the reference standard for the management of small renal tumors and is commonly used for localized kidney cancer. A primary goal of partial nephrectomy is to preserve as much renal function as possible. New baseline glomerular filtration rate after partial nephrectomy can have prognostic significance with respect to long-term outcomes. Recent studies provide an increased understanding of the factors that determine functional outcomes after partial nephrectomy as well as preventive measures to minimize functional decline. We review these advances, highlight ongoing controversies and stimulate further research.

Materials and methods: A comprehensive literature review consistent with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) criteria was performed from January 2006 to April 2014 using PubMed®, Cochrane and Ovid Medline. Key words included partial nephrectomy, renal function, warm ischemia, hypothermia, nephron mass, parenchymal volume, surgical approaches to partial nephrectomy, preoperative and intraoperative imaging, enucleation, hemostatic agents and energy based resection. Relevant reviews were also examined as well as their cited references. An additional Google Scholar search was conducted to broaden the scope of the review. Only English language articles were included in the analysis. The primary outcomes of interest were the new baseline level of function after early postoperative recovery, percent decline in function, potential etiologies and preventive measures.

Results: Decline in function after partial nephrectomy averages approximately 20% in the operated kidney, and can be due to incomplete recovery from the ischemic insult or loss of nephron mass related to parenchymal excision or collateral damage during reconstruction. Compensatory hypertrophy in the contralateral kidney after partial nephrectomy in adults is marginal and decline in global renal function for patients with 2 kidneys averages about 10%, although there is some variance based on tumor size and location. Irreversible ischemic injury can be minimized by pharmacological intervention or surgical approaches such as hypothermia, limited warm ischemia, or zero or segmental ischemia. Excessive loss of nephron mass can be minimized by improved preoperative or intraoperative imaging, use of a bloodless field, enucleation and vascular microdissection. Hemostatic agents or energy based resection that minimizes the need for parenchymal and capsular suturing can also optimize preservation of the vascularized nephron mass.

Conclusions: Our understanding of the decline in renal function after partial nephrectomy has advanced considerably, including better appreciation of its magnitude and impact in various settings, possible etiologies and potential preventive measures. Many controversies persist and this remains an important area of investigation.

Keywords: delayed graft function; ischemia; nephrectomy.

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