Accuracy in staging of renal cell carcinoma involving vena cava.
Accurate preoperative staging of renal cell carcinoma is necessary to determine patient prognosis and surgical approach, particularly when tumor thrombus invades the vena cava. The pathologically-confirmed tumor stage was compared with the radiographic preoperative stage in 44 patients undergoing surgery for renal cell carcinoma invading the vena cava (T3cNxMx). Nine patients (20%) were upstaged as the result of extracapsular tumor extension. Twelve patients (27%) were upstaged due to unrecognized regional lymphadenopathy, and 1 patient was downstaged. Only 1 patient was upstaged as the result of unrecognized metastases. The level of tumor thrombus extension for surgical approach was accurately determined in all but 2 patients. Overall, 15 patients (34%) were upstaged as a result of pathologic studies, 28 patients (64%) were correctly staged, and 1 patient was downstaged. Radiographic staging of extracapsular tumor extension and regional lymphadenopathy is unreliable, but current radiographic techniques delineate the level of thrombus extension for surgical approach with high accuracy.
Hatcher, PA; Paulson, DF; Anderson, EE
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