Growth rates and outcomes of observed large renal masses


  • Naji J. Touma Department of Urology, Queen's university
  • Gregory W. Hosier Department of Urology, Queen's university
  • Michael A. Di Lena Department of Urology, Queen's university
  • Robert J. Leslie Department of Urology, Queen's university
  • Louisa Ho Department of Urology, Queen's university
  • Alexandre Menard Department of Radiology, Queen's university
  • D. Robert Siemens Department of Urology, Queen's university



large renal masses, growth rates, outcomes


Introduction: The natural history of small renal masses has been well-defined, leading to the recommendation of active surveillance in some patients with limited life expectancy. However, this information is less clear for large renal masses (LRM), leading to ambiguity for management in the older, comorbid patient. The objective of this study was to define the natural history, including the growth rate and metastatic risk, of LRM in order to better counsel patients regarding active surveillance.

Methods: This was a retrospective review of patients with solid renal masses >4 cm that had repeated imaging identified from an institutional imaging database. Patient comorbidities and outcomes were obtained through retrospective chart analysis. Outcomes assessed included tumor growth and metastatic rates, as well as cancer-specific (CSS) and overall survival (OS) using Kaplan-Meier methodology.

Results: We identified 69 patients between 2005 and 2016 who met the inclusion criteria. Mean age at study entry was 75.5 years; mean tumor maximal dimension at study entry was 5.6 cm. CSS was 83% and OS 63% for patients presenting without metastasis, with a mean followup of 57.5 months. The mean growth rate of those that developed metastasis during followup (n=15) was 0.98 cm/year (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.33‒1.63) as compared to those that did not develop metastasis (n=46), with a growth rate of 0.67 cm/year (95% CI 0.34‒1) (non-significant). Seven patients had evidence of metastasis at the baseline imaging of their LRM and had subsequent growth rate of 1.47 cm/year (95% CI 0.37‒2.57) (non-significant).

Conclusions: Compared to small renal masses, LRM are associated with higher metastasis rates and lower CSS and more rapid growth rates. Selection criteria for recommending observation of LRM in older, comorbid patients should be more conservative than for small renal masses.


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How to Cite

Touma, N. J., Hosier, G. W., Di Lena, M. A., Leslie, R. J., Ho, L., Menard, A., & Siemens, D. R. (2018). Growth rates and outcomes of observed large renal masses. Canadian Urological Association Journal, 13(8).



Original Research