Objectives To investigate whether persistent enhancement detected on contrast-enhanced sonography at postoperative day 1 (early contrast-enhanced sonography) after cryoablation of renal tumors implies the presence of residual viable tumor tissue, defined as residual enhancing tissue on reference imaging (computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging) performed 6 months after the procedure. Methods Seventy-four patients with percutaneous cryoablation of renal tumors had early contrast-enhanced sonography from November 2011 to August 2015. Two independent readers evaluated early contrast-enhanced sonographic findings and contrast-enhanced sonographic investigations performed 1 month after cryoablation of lesions that displayed enhancement on early contrast-enhanced sonography. They scored intralesional enhancement in 4 groups: no enhancement, few intralesional vessels, focal enhancing areas, and diffuse enhancement. Inter-reader agreement in evaluating lesion vascularity on early contrast-enhanced sonography was assessed with weighted κ statistics. Computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging performed 6 months after the treatment was the reference procedure for assessing the absence or presence of residual disease. Results Inter-reader agreement in assessing intratumoral vascularization on early contrast-enhanced sonography was very good (κ = 0.90). Enhancement was absent for both readers in 33 of 74 cases; only a few intralesional vessels were visible in 21; whereas diffuse or focal enhancement was present in 13. In the remaining 7 patients, there were differences. Four lesions with focal enhancement on early contrast-enhanced sonography and 1 that was considered avascular had residual tumors on reference imaging. Ablation was successful in the remaining 69 of 74 patients (93%). Conclusions After cryoablation, intratumoral enhancement on early contrast-enhanced sonography does not imply tumor cell viability.
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