Watchful waiting in the treatment of the small renal mass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Objectives : To evaluate the role and feasibility of observation with regard to the small renal mass. Methods : We performed a literature search of MEDLINE, reviewing the world literature relevant to the natural history, role of percutaneous biopsy and surveillance of the small renal mass. Results : The average yearly growth rate of most small renal masses ranges from 0.1 to 0.70 cm/yr with obvious exceptions. Clinical predictors of growth such as radiographic size at presentation, age, gender and tumor characteristics are not reliable. Approximately 1% develops metastatic disease while under surveillance. Contemporary series of percutaneous biopsy of small renal masses report sensitivity for malignancy to be 90%-98%. However, false-negative results can occur. For the majority of patients, the gold standard remains surgical extirpation. Conclusions : Watchful waiting is an acceptable option for management of small renal masses in the surgically unfit and elderly population. More information regarding the natural history and metastatic potential of small renal masses is needed. Percutaneous needle biopsy can be successful in detecting malignancy in selected patients with small renal masses. The role of needle biopsy for the small renal mass continues to evolve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-493
Number of pages5
JournalIndian Journal of Urology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009


  • Active surveillance
  • Kidney neoplasms
  • Natural history
  • Needle biopsy
  • Small renal tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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