1. Department of Urology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province, China.
2. Department of Emergency, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province, China.
* Wen Deng and Luyao Chen contributed equally to this work.
Introduction: Cryoablation has been considered as the most efficacious ablative alternative to partial nephrectomy (PN) for selected patients. Our objective is to assess the existing evidence relating to the safety and efficacy of cryoablation compared with PN for clinical T1 renal masses.
Materials and Methods: A comprehensive search of PMC, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library was conducted to identify studies containing comparison of cryoablation and PN. By utilizing those included studies, a systematic review and cumulative meta-analyses were performed to assess the safety and efficacy between cryoablation and PN for T1 renal masses.
Results: 17 retrospective studies providing available data were included in our study. Significant differences were found about all oncological variables including all-cause death, cancer-specific death, metastasis and local-recurrence (p < 0.001, p = 0.03, p < 0.001, and p < 0.001, respectively) between the PN group and the cryoablation group. The mean difference between two groups for percent estimated glomerular filtration rate decrease and creatinine increase was -4.84 and 0.15 respectively (p < 0.001 and p = 0.006, respectively). The incidences of overall and postoperative complications in the PN group were significantly higher than that in the cryoablation group (p = 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively), but the result about intraoperative complications didn't show a significant difference between the two groups (p = 0.53).
Conclusions: Comparing with PN, cryoablation for clinical T1 renal tumors is associated with poorer oncological outcomes, but the existing disadvantages are accompanied by lower rate of overall and postoperative complications and superior renal functional preservation. For patients with imperative indications for nephron-sparing surgery who can't risk more invasive PN, cryoablation could be an attractive option. Owing to the inherent limitations of eligible studies, conclusions drawn from our meta-analyses should be interpreted cautiously and be confirmed further with well-designed randomized controlled trials with extensive follow-up length.
Keywords: cryoablation, partial nephrectomy, renal mass, clinical T1, meta-analysis