Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 40, Issue 10, October 2011

Incidentally detected small renal masses Investigation and management

Kantha Rao Peter L Royce
Download article
Cite this article    BIBTEX    REFER    RIS

With increasing use of imaging to diagnose other conditions, incidentally detected small renal masses and cysts are now a common clinical scenario for both the general practitioner and the urologist.
This article outlines a diagnostic and management approach to the incidental finding of a small renal mass or cyst.
Renal cell carcinoma represent 2–3% of all cancers and more than 50% of these are detected incidentally. Small renal masses are defined as renal masses less than 4 cm in diameter. They comprise a heterogeneous group of lesions; 20% are benign and only 20–25% prove to be potentially aggressive kidney cancers at the time of diagnosis. Work-up involves a full history, looking for evidence of paraneoplastic syndromes and examination, which is usually normal. Recommended blood tests include basic biochemistry and haematology, and imaging. A four phase contrasted computerised tomography scan of the kidneys allows a detailed examination of each aspect of the functional anatomy of the kidney, which can help approximate risk of malignancy and direct management. Not all patients with small renal masses require a biopsy. However, biopsy is required in patients who opt for active surveillance or ablative therapy. Management options include surveillance, surgery and ablative techniques.

Download the PDF for the full article.

Download article PDF


Australian Family Physician RACGP

Printed from Australian Family Physician - https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2011/october/incidentally-detected-small-renal-masses
© The Australian College of General Practitioners www.racgp.org.au