Feasibility and Outcomes of Renal Mass Biopsy for Anatomically Complex Renal Tumors

Selma Masic, Marshall Strother, Laura C. Kidd, Brian Egleston, Avery Braun, Abhishek Srivastava, Marc Smaldone, Barton Milestone, Rosaleen Parsons, Rosalia Viterbo, Richard Greenberg, David Chen, Alexander Kutikov, Robert Uzzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To compare the feasibility and outcomes of renal mass biopsies (RMB) of anatomically complex vs non-complex renal masses.

METHODS: Our institutional renal tumor database was queried for patients who underwent RMB between 2005 and 2019 and with available nephrometry score. Complex masses were: (1) small (<2 cm), (2) entirely endophytic (nephrometry E=3), (3) hilar (h) or (4) partially endophytic (E=2) and anterior. Demographic and pathologic data were compared. Biopsies were deemed adequate if they resulted in a diagnosis. Concordance with surgical pathology was assessed. These were both presented using proportions. Factors associated with biopsy outcomes were identified using multivariable logistic regression. RMB sensitivity and specificity were calculated using contingency methods.

RESULTS: A total of 306 RBMs were included, 179 complex and 127 non-complex. A total of 199 (65%) had an extirpative procedure. Complex lesions were less likely to have an adequate biopsy (89% vs 96%, P = .03), and to be concordant with final surgical pathology from an oncologic standpoint (89% vs 97%, P = .03). There was no significant difference in concordance of histology (76% vs 86%, P = .10) or grade (48 vs 51%, P = .66). On multivariable analyses, only male gender was associated with biopsy adequacy (OR 3.31, 95% CI 1.28-8.55, P = .01). Our overall sensitivity was 93%, specificity 93%, and accuracy 93%. There were no significant differences over time in biopsy outcomes during the study period.

CONCLUSION: RMB of complex lesions is associated with excellent diagnostic yield, albeit lower than non-complex lesions. RMB should not be deferred in cases of anatomically complex lesions where additional data could improve clinical decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-130
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Aged
  • Biopsy, Large-Core Needle/standards
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms/diagnosis
  • Kidney/pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Nephrectomy
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Tumor Burden


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