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Authors Blute ML, Drewry A, Abel EJ
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Journal Ther Adv Urol Volume: 7 Issue: 5 Pages: 265-74
Publish Date 2015 Oct
PubMed ID 26425141
PMC ID 4549697

The increased use of abdominal imaging has led to identification of more patients with incidental renal masses, and renal mass biopsy (RMB) has become a popular method to evaluate unknown renal masses prior to definitive treatment. Pathologic data obtained from biopsy may be used to guide decisions for treatment and may include the presence or absence of malignant tumor, renal cell cancer subtype, tumor grade and the presence of other aggressive pathologic features. However, prior to using RMB for risk stratification, it is important to understand whether RMB findings are equivalent to pathologic analysis of surgical specimens and to identify any potential limitations of this approach. This review outlines the advantages and limitations of the current studies that evaluate RMB as a guide for treatment decision in patients with unknown renal masses. In multiple series, RMB has demonstrated low morbidity and a theoretical reduction in cost, if patients with benign tumors are identified from biopsy and can avoid subsequent treatment. However, when considering the routine use of RMB for risk stratification, it is important to note that biopsy may underestimate risk in some patients by undergrading, understaging or failing to identify aggressive tumor features. Future studies should focus on developing treatment algorithms that integrate RMB to identify the optimal use in risk stratification of patients with unknown renal masses.

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