Introduction: To retrospectively evaluate the mid-term outcomes of percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) with multitined expandable electrodes externally cooled with saline solution in patients with T1a renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Materials and methods: In this retrospective study, we evaluated 39 RCC in 35 patients treated with CT-guided RFA in 41 procedures (2011–2017). All patients were staged T1a, N0, M0 prior to RFA. Mean tumor size was 24.48 mm. A 4-tined expandable RFA electrode cooled with pump-circulating saline was used. Efficacy was evaluated verifying complete tumor necrosis (no contrast enhancement on imaging) at the end of the procedure and on subsequent controls. Follow-up observation period was 5 years. Minor/major complications, hospitalization days, serum creatinine and GFR pre- and post-RFA (compared using paired t test) and post-operative pain (evaluated with NRS after treatment) were considered as safety indicators. Overall survival was also calculated (Kaplan–Meier method). Results: Of 35 patients, 30/35 had 1 treatment (primary effectiveness rate 86%), 4/35 had 2 treatments and 1/35 had 3 treatments for residual disease. There were no relapses and no mid-long-term complications; 3 minor (8%) and 1 major (2.7%) complications during perioperative period were reported. Mean before and after RFA serum creatinine rates were, respectively, 1.08 mg/dl and 1.11 mg/dl (p value: 0.4117). NRS median value is 0.8. Hospitalization days median value is [2.8 ± 1.9] days. 91.4% of all patients survived, with a median overall survival time of 65 months. Conclusions: Mid-term results show that CT-guided RFA with multitined expandable electrodes externally cooled with saline solution is an effective and safe treatment in patients with RCC-staged T1aN0M0. Data reported in our study are in line with data reported in the literature from patients treated with other devices.
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