Renal cell carcinoma extending to the renal vein and inferior vena cava: results of surgical treatment and prognostic factors

H B Tongaonkar, N P Dandekar, A V Dalal, J N Kulkarni, M R Kamat
Journal of Surgical Oncology 1995, 59 (2): 94-100
Forty-seven patients with renal cell carcinoma with tumor thrombus extension to the renal vein or inferior vena cava (IVC) were treated surgically over a 10-year period. There were 41 males and 6 females with a mean age of 45.7 years. Thirty-three patients had right-sided and 14 had left-sided tumors. Patients with renal vein or infrahepatic IVC thrombus were treated with radical nephrectomy with tumor thrombus excision after achieving conventional vascular control over the IVC and the opposite renal vein. Four patients with retrohepatic IVC thrombus were treated with venacavotomy and thrombectomy after achieving vascular control above the thrombus but below the hepatic veins while two other patients with retrohepatic and one with suprahepatic thrombus required a bifemoroatrial partial venous bypass prior to tumor thrombectomy. There was one postoperative death due to pulmonary embolism. The actuarial 5-year survival for all patients with venous extension was 50% and the median survival was 4.35 years. Perinephric spread and lymph node metastases were significant prognostic factors affecting survival. This suggests that it is the locoregional spread of renal cell carcinoma rather than the level of the thrombus which governs the prognosis of patients with tumor thrombus extension to the renal vein or IVC.

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