Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Interventional Radiology - Original Article

MRI and CT in the follow-up after irreversible electroporation of small renal masses

1.

Department of Urology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2.

Department of Biomedical Engineering & Physics, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

3.

Department of Radiology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

4.

Department of Urology, Istanbul Medipol University, Instanbul, Turkey

Diagn Interv Radiol 2021; 27: 654-663
DOI: 10.5152/dir.2021.19575
Read: 291 Downloads: 66 Published: 02 October 2020

PURPOSE: Ablation plays a growing role in the treatment of small renal masses (SRMs) due to its nephron sparing properties and low invasiveness. Irreversible electroporation (IRE) has the potential, although still experimental, to overcome current limitations of thermal ablation. No prospective imaging studies exist of the ablation zone in the follow up after renal IRE in humans. Objectives are to assess computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on the ablation zone volume (AZV), enhancement and imaging characteristics after renal IRE.

METHODS: Prospective phase 2 study of IRE in nine patients with ten SRMs. MRI imaging was performed pre-IRE, 1 week, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months after IRE. CT was performed pre-IRE, perioperatively (direct after ablation), 3 months, 6 months and 12 months after IRE. AZVs were assessed by two independent observers. Observer variation was analyzed. Evolution of AZVs, and relation between the needle configuration volume (NCV; planned AZV) and CT- and MRI volumes were evaluated.

RESULTS: Eight SRMs were clear cell renal cell carcinomas, one SRM was a papillary renal cell carcinoma and one patient had a non-diagnostic biopsy. On CT, median AZV increased perioperatively until 3 months post-IRE (respectively, 16.8 cm3 and 6.2 cm3) compared to the NCV (4.8 cm3). On MRI, median AZV increased 1-week post-IRE until 3 months post-IRE (respectively, 14.5 cm3 and 4.6 cm3) compared to the NCV (4.8 cm3). At 6 months the AZV starts decreasing (CT 4.8 cm3; MRI 3.0 cm3), continuing at 12 months (CT 4.2 cm3, MRI 1.1 cm3). Strong correlation was demonstrated between the planning and the post-treatment volumes. Inter-observer agreement between observers was excellent (CT 95% CI 0.82-0.95, MRI 95% CI 0.86-0.96).  All SRMs appeared non-enhanced immediately after ablation, except for one residual tumour. Subtraction images confirmed non-enhancement on MRI in unclear enhancement cases (3/9). Directly after IRE, gas bubbles, perinephric stranding and edema were observed in all cases.

CONCLUSION: The AZV increases immediately on CT until 3 months after IRE. On MRI, the AZV increases at 1 week until 3 months post-IRE. At 6 months the AZV starts decreasing until 12 months post-IRE on both CT and MRI. Enhancement was absent post-IRE, except for one residual tumour. Gas bubbles, perinephric stranding and edema are normal findings directly post-IRE.

You may cite this article as: Buijs M, de Bruin DM, Wagstaff PGK, et al. MRI and CT in the follow-up after irreversible electroporation of small renal masses. Diagn Interv Radiol 2021; 27: 654–663

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