The overall recurrence rate of T1 renal cell carcinoma is low. We evaluated abdominal imaging after partial nephrectomy based on current guidelines for T1 renal cell carcinoma surveillance.Materials and Methods:
We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients with T1 renal cell carcinoma who underwent partial nephrectomy between 2006 and 2012 followed by abdominal imaging at our institution. Primary and secondary outcomes were the incidence and timing, respectively, of imaging diagnosed abdominal recurrences. A literature review was performed to summarize prior reports of recurrence incidence and timing after partial nephrectomy for T1 disease.Results:
A total of 160 patients with stage T1a and 37 with T1b underwent partial nephrectomy. Seven patients had an abdominal recurrence, including 3 with local and distant recurrences, and 4 with a metachronous contralateral kidney recurrence. The incidence of abdominal recurrence detected by imaging was higher in the T1b than in the T1a group (10.8% vs 1.9%, p = 0.024). Although it was not significant, median time to recurrence was earlier in T1b vs T1a cases (13 vs 37 months, p = 0.480). In each group recurrences developed after 3 years of suggested guideline surveillance. In the literature combined with the current study the time to median recurrence for T1b vs T1a was 24 vs 29 months (p = 0.226).Conclusions:
Recurrences detected by abdominal imaging developed earlier and more frequently in T1b than in T1a cases. Future recommendations for surveillance strategies after partial nephrectomy should distinguish T1a from T1b with less intense frequency of imaging for T1a. A longer period of surveillance should be considered since recurrences can develop beyond 3 years.