Objective: The objective of the present study was to evaluate the indications, accuracy, complications and impact of image-guided percutaneous biopsy of renal masses. Materials and Methods: Between 1994 and 1999, percutaneous biopsies under ultrasonography or computerized tomography guidance were performed in 33 patients with renal mass (22 men and 11 women, mean age 57.5 years, range 21–88). We retrospectively analyzed the relationship between clinical and histopathological findings, and discuss the appropriateness of the indications for image-guided percutaneous biopsy in the diagnosis of renal masses. Results: The indications used in our institution were as follows: (1) clinical and radiological findings to suggest a diagnosis other than primary renal cell carcinoma (RCC) (n = 15); (2) suspicious lesions of RCC in multiple cystic renal masses (n = 7); (3) differentiation of transitional cell carcinoma of the renal pelvis from RCC (n = 7); (4) differentiation of angiomyolipoma from RCC (n = 4). Sufficient amounts of tissues were obtained from all patients for pathological diagnosis. Among 33 patients, 21 (63.6%) were diagnosed positive for malignancy, and 15 underwent surgical intervention. The histopathological findings between percutaneous biopsy and surgically resected tissue were identical in 13 cases (86.7%). No patient developed major complications requiring surgical treatment. Conclusion: If performed under appropriate selection of patients, percutaneous image-guided biopsy is a safe, reliable and accurate method of managing suspicious and/or indeterminate renal mass, and may contribute to the selection of appropriate clinical management by avoiding unnecessary procedures.
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