Radiofrequency ablation for treatment of renal tumors: Technological principles and outcomes

Nelson Salas, Scott M. Castle, Raymond J. Leveillee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive, energy-based, needle-ablative treatment modality that is currently being used to treat small renal masses (SRMs) and offers advantages over extirpative techniques. RFA treats SRM with heat induced by the tissue impedance to radiofrequency current emitted from a needle probe within the SRM. Currently available RFA systems use either an impedance- or temperature-based treatment algorithm to reach treatment end point while minimizing risk of carbonization. Physical limitations, such as electrical property heterogeneity and convective heat loss due to blood flow, and technical considerations should be addressed when performing RFA. Nonetheless, investigations with intermediate follow-up have demonstrated single-treatment radiographic recurrence-free rates of >90%. Future trends include the use of noninvasive imaging thermometry, electromagnetic targeting and adjuvant techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-707
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Review of Medical Devices
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • ablation
  • conduction
  • current
  • heat
  • kidney
  • radiofrequency
  • tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering


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