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      Correlation between radiological and histopathological findings in patients undergoing nephrectomy for presumed renal cell carcinoma on computed tomography scan at Grey's Hospital


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          BACKGROUND: The incidence of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is increasing globally owing to the increased use of cross-sectional imaging. Computed tomography (CT) scan is the modality of choice in the diagnosis and pre-operative assessment of RCC. Nephrectomy is the standard treatment for RCC and pre-surgery biopsy is not routinely practised. The accuracy of CT diagnosis and staging in a South African population has not been established. OBJECTIVES: To determine the accuracy of CT scan in the diagnosis and pre-operative staging of RCC at Grey's Hospital. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was performed; CT scan reports and histopathological results of adult patients who underwent nephrectomy for presumed RCC on CT scan between January 2010 and December 2016 were compared. RESULTS: Fifty patients met the inclusion criteria for the study. CT significantly overestimated the size of renal masses by 0.7 cm (p = 0.045) on average. The positive predictive value of CT for RCC was 81%. Cystic tumours and those 4 cm and smaller were more likely to be benign. CT demonstrated good specificity for extra-renal extension, vascular invasion and lymph node involvement, but poor sensitivity. CONCLUSION: In our South African study population, CT is accurate at diagnosing RCC, but false-positives do occur. Non-enhancing or poorly enhancing, cystic, fat-containing and small lesions (4 cm or smaller) are more likely to be benign and ultrasound-guided biopsy should be considered to avoid unnecessary surgery. CT assessment of extra-renal extension and vascular invasion is challenging and additional imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) venogram, duplex Doppler ultrasound or Positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET/CT) may be beneficial.

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          The current radiological approach to renal cysts.

           M Bosniak (1985)
          The radiologic diagnosis of renal cysts (and their differentiation from renal neoplasms) has come a long way since the 1950s when the approach was surgical exploration, unless clinically contraindicated, for every renal mass detected using urography. Nephrotomography, renal angiography, and cyst puncture have contributed over the ensuing years to the differentiation of cyst from tumor. However, for the most part, sonography and CT (or a combination of these when necessary) have become the main diagnostic techniques for evaluating renal masses, and with their use we have never been more accurate, noninvasive, and relatively economically efficient. The more widespread use of CT has enabled serendipitous discovery of many small renal carcinomas, the removal of which should result in an improvement in the overall cure rate of patients with renal parenchymal neoplasms. On the other hand, we are also discovering many more cysts than we have previously. We must be on guard, therefore, against discovering lesions for which we are unable to establish a radiologic diagnosis of benignity, because this will only increase the need for exploratory surgery once again. It is thus imperative that imaging studies be performed with great care, that diagnoses be based on rigid criteria, and that more experience with difficult lesions be gained so that the proper approach to treatment will be determined. If we are able to accomplish this, then the present radiologic age can be remembered as a time when great advances in the evaluation of renal masses were made, with resultant improved patient management and cure of disease.
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            Incidence of benign pathologic findings at partial nephrectomy for solitary renal mass presumed to be renal cell carcinoma on preoperative imaging.

            To determine the incidence of benign pathologic findings at partial nephrectomy for a solitary renal lesion when preoperative imaging is reviewed by an experienced team of academic genitourinary radiologists. From 1996 to 2004, 143 patients underwent resection of a solitary renal lesion for presumed renal cell carcinoma amenable to partial nephrectomy. Our experienced team of genitourinary radiologists interpreted all preoperative imaging scans. Of the 143 patients, 44 underwent partial nephrectomy for a solitary lesion less than 2 cm, 85 for a lesion 2 to 4 cm, and 14 for a lesion greater than 4 cm. Of the 143 solitary masses resected, 23 revealed benign pathologic findings (16.1%). Ten lesions (43.5%) were angiomyolipomas (AMLs), eight (34.8%) were oncocytomas, three (13.0%) were benign Bosniak-type cysts, and one each was a low-grade spindle cell lesion most consistent with mesoblastic nephroma, and a metanephric adenoma. A significant fraction of small solitary renal masses presumed to be renal cell carcinoma had benign pathologic findings on resection, despite thorough expert radiologic review. Management should favor parenchyma-sparing approaches, because resection serves not only a therapeutic but also a diagnostic function. Patients should be counseled accordingly when faced with the diagnosis of renal mass.
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              Renal cell carcinoma: diagnosis, staging, and surveillance.

              This educational review focuses on the staging and radiologic evaluation of renal cell carcinoma. It includes discussion of the epidemiology, pathology, and therapeutic options of renal cell carcinoma and the implications for radiologic follow-up. The incidence of renal cell carcinoma has been increasing. Imaging plays a central role in its detection, staging, and treatment evaluation and follow-up.

                Author and article information

                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                SA Journal of Radiology
                S. Afr. J. radiol. (Online)
                Radiological Society of South Africa (Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa )
                : 22
                : 1
                : 1-8
                orgnameUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal orgdiv1College of Health Sciences orgdiv2Department of Radiology South Africa
                orgnameUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal orgdiv1College of Health Sciences orgdiv2Department of Urology South Africa

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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