The minimally invasive treatment of small renal masses with cryoablation has become increasingly widespread during the past 15 years. Studies with long-term follow-up are beginning to emerge, showing good oncological control, however, tumors with a central and endophytic location seem to possess an increased risk of treatment failure. Such tumors are likely to be subjected to a high volume of blood giving thermal protection to the cancerous cells. Arterial clamping during freezing might reduce this effect but at the same time subject the kidney to ischemia. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of renal artery clamping during cryoablation in a porcine survival model.Methods:
Ten Danish Landrace pigs (approximately 40 kg) underwent bilateral laparoscopic cryoablation with clamping of the right renal artery during freezing. The cryoablation consisted of a standard double-freeze cycle of 10-minute freeze followed by 8 minutes of thaw. Arterial clamping subjected the right kidney to 2 cycles of ischemia (10 minutes) with perfusion in between. After surgery, the animals were housed for 14 days prior to computed tomography perfusions scans, radioisotope renography, and bilateral nephrectomy.Results:
No perioperative or postoperative complications were experienced. Mean differential renal function was 44% (95% confidence interval: 42-46) in the clamped right kidney group and 56% (95% confidence interval: 54-58) in the nonclamped left kidney group, P < .05. The ±5% technical inaccuracy is not accounted for in the results. Mean maximum temperature between freeze cycles was 5.13°C (95% confidence interval: −0.1 to 10.3) in the clamped right kidney group and 22.7°C (95% confidence interval: −16.6 to 28.8) in the nonclamped left kidney group, P < .05. Mean cryolesion volume, estimated on computed tomography perfusion, was 12.4 mL (95% confidence interval: 10.35-14.4) in the clamped right kidney group and 6.85 mL (95% confidence interval: 5.57-8.14) in the nonclamped left kidney group, P < .05. Pathological examination shows a higher degree of vital cells in the intermediate zone of the cryolesions in the nonclamped left kidneys when compared with the clamped right kidneys.Conclusion:
Arterial clamping increases cryolesion size by approximately 80%, and pathologic examinations suggest a decreased risk of vital cells in the intermediate zone. The clamped kidneys showed no sign of injury from the limited ischemic insult. This study was limited by being a nontumor model.