Current strategies to diagnose and manage positive surgical margins and local recurrence after partial nephrectomy

Carbonara U., Amparore D., Gentile C., Bertolo R., ERDEM S., Ingels A., ...More

Asian Journal of Urology, vol.9, no.3, pp.227-242, 2022 (Scopus) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ajur.2022.06.002
  • Journal Name: Asian Journal of Urology
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.227-242
  • Keywords: Local recurrence, Partial nephrectomy, Positive surgical margin, Radical nephrectomy, Robot-assisted partial nephrectomy
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022 Editorial Office of Asian Journal of UrologyObjective: No standard strategy for diagnosis and management of positive surgical margin (PSM) and local recurrence after partial nephrectomy (PN) are reported in literature. This review aims to provide an overview of the current strategies and further perspectives on this patient setting. Methods: A non-systematic review of the literature was completed. The research included the most updated articles (about the last 10 years). Results: Techniques for diagnosing PSMs during PN include intraoperative frozen section, imprinting cytology, and other specific tools. No clear evidence is reported about these methods. Regarding PSM management, active surveillance with a combination of imaging and laboratory evaluation is the first option line followed by surgery. Regarding local recurrence management, surgery is the primary curative approach when possible but it may be technically difficult due to anatomy resultant from previous PN. In this scenario, thermal ablation (TA) may have the potential to circumvent these limitations representing a less invasive alternative. Salvage surgery represents a valid option; six studies analyzed the outcomes of nephrectomy on local recurrence after PN with three of these focused on robotic approach. Overall, complication rates of salvage surgery are higher compared to TA but ablation presents a higher recurrence rate up to 25% of cases that can often be managed with repeat ablation. Conclusion: Controversy still exists surrounding the best strategy for management and diagnosis of patients with PSMs or local recurrence after PN. Active surveillance is likely to be the optimal first-line management option for most patients with PSMs. Ablation and salvage surgery both represent valid options in patients with local recurrence after PN. Conversely, salvage PN and radical nephrectomy have fewer recurrences but are associated with a higher complication rate compared to TA. In this scenario, robotic surgery plays an important role in improving salvage PN and radical nephrectomy outcomes.