Perioperative and Oncologic Outcomes of Nephrectomy and Caval Thrombectomy Using Extracorporeal Circulation and Deep Hypothermic Circulatory Arrest for Renal Cell Carcinoma Invading the Supradiaphragmatic Inferior Vena Cava and/or Right Atrium

Eur Urol. 2018 May;73(5):793-799. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2017.08.019. Epub 2017 Sep 13.


Background: Radical nephrectomy (RN) and caval thrombectomy (CT) for renal cell carcinoma, with extracorporeal circulation (ECC) and deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA) is a challenging surgical approach.

Objective: To assess peri-operative and oncologic outcomes of renal cell carcinoma patients treated with RN and CT, using ECC and DHCA.

Design, setting, and participants: We retrospectively evaluated 46 patients who underwent RN and CT using ECC and DHCA.

Surgical procedure: After retroperitoneal nodal dissection and RN, a cardiopulmonary bypass was placed and DHCA achieved. A combined approach through the abdomen and the thorax was described.

Measurements: Perioperative and long-term survival outcomes were reported.

Results and limitations: Median operative time and length of hospital stay were 545min and 22 d. Overall, 33 patients (72%) did not require any additional interventional or surgical treatment. Thirty-day and 90-d mortality were 11% (5/46) and 15% (7/46). The 1-yr, 2-yr, and 3-yr cancer specific mortality (CSM)-free survival rates were 77%, 62%, and 56%, respectively. After stratification, according to metastatic status at diagnosis, CSM-free survival rates were significantly lower for cM1 patients compared with cM0 patients (1-yr 46% vs 93%, 2-yr 23% vs 81%, 3-yr 23% vs 73%, p<0.01). Our study is limited by its retrospective and uncomparative nature.

Conclusions: RN with CT using ECC and DHCA is a challenging procedure which requires a dedicated multidisciplinary working team to minimise complications and maximise patients' outcomes.

Patient summary: Patients with kidney cancer and a thrombus within the inferior vena cava, which reaches above the diaphragm, can be treated with surgery. However, this kind of surgical treatment is challenging and requires a dedicated multidisciplinary team in order to accomplish the task.

Keywords: Atrium; Caval thrombectomy; Extracorporeal circulation; Hypothermic circulatory arrest; Renal cell carcinoma; Thrombus.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / surgery*
  • Circulatory Arrest, Deep Hypothermia Induced / methods*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Extracorporeal Circulation / methods
  • Female
  • Heart Atria / pathology
  • Heart Atria / surgery
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / mortality
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Kidney Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating / pathology
  • Nephrectomy / methods*
  • Nephrectomy / mortality
  • Operative Time
  • Perioperative Care / methods
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Rate
  • Thrombectomy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vena Cava, Inferior / pathology
  • Vena Cava, Inferior / surgery