Effect of iodinated contrast material on post-operative eGFR when administered during renal mass ablation

Eur Radiol. 2021 Aug;31(8):5490-5497. doi: 10.1007/s00330-020-07613-y. Epub 2021 Jan 25.


Objective: To evaluate the effect of intravenous iodinated contrast on estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) when administered immediately after thermal ablation of clinically localized T1a (cT1a) renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

Methods: This HIPAA-compliant, dual-center retrospective study was performed under a waiver of informed consent. Three hundred forty-two consecutive patients with cT1a biopsy-proven RCC were treated with percutaneous ablation between January 2010 and December 2017. Immediate post-ablation contrast-enhanced CT was the routine standard of care at one institution (contrast group), but not the other (control group). One-month pre- and 6-month post-ablation eGFR were compared using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test or the Kruskal-Wallis test. Multivariate linear regression was used to determine the effect of contrast on eGFR. A 1:1 propensity score matching was performed for all patients with a logistic model using patient, tumor, and procedural covariates.

Results: In total, 246 patients (158 M; median age 69 years, IQR 62-74) were included. Median tumor diameter (2.4 vs 2.5, p = 0.23) and RENAL nephrometry scores (6 vs 6, p = 0.92), surrogates for ablation zone size, were similar. Baseline kidney function was similar for the control and contrast groups, respectively (median eGFR: 70 vs 74 mL/min/1.73 m2, p = 0.29). There was an expected mild decline in eGFR after ablation (control: 70 vs 60 mL/min/1.73 m2, p < 0.001; contrast: 75 vs 71 mL/min/1.73 m2, p = 0.001). Intravenous iodinated contrast was not associated with a decline in eGFR on multivariate linear regression (1.91, 95% CI - 3.43-7.24, p = 0.46) or 1:1 propensity score-matched model (- 0.33, 95% CI - 6.81-6.15, p = 0.92).

Conclusion: Intravenous iodinated contrast administered during ablation of cT1a RCC has no effect on eGFR.

Key points: • Intravenous iodinated contrast administered during thermal ablation of clinically localized T1a renal cell carcinoma has no effect on kidney function. • Thermal ablation of clinically localized T1a renal cell carcinoma results in a mild decline in kidney function. • A decline in kidney function is similar for radiofrequency and microwave ablation of clinically localized T1a renal cell carcinoma.

Keywords: Contrast media; Glomerular filtration rate; Microwave; Renal cell carcinoma; Thermal ablation.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / surgery
  • Catheter Ablation*
  • Contrast Media
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Microwaves
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Contrast Media