The authors report their experience with 92 patients treated by percutaneous alcoholization of simple renal cysts between July 1987 and December 1995. 49 patients were male, 43 female; the average age was 60 years (range 25-80). The treatment was performed because of symptoms and/or complications in 70 cases. The remaining 22 patients were asymptomatic, but their cysts showed a fast increase in size at repeated ultrasonographies. The average size of the cysts was 9.8 cm (range 4-17cm). They were located at the upper pole of the kidney in 24% of cases at the median third in 26%. and at the lower pole in 50%. All patients were treated in the prone position. The technique was different from the original Bean's procedure because the drainage of the cyst cavity was left in place until the epithelial cells of the cyst wall completely ceased their secretory activity. The pig-tail was removed on average 3-4 days after treatment. The average followup was 63 months (range 12-113). Symptoms completely disappeared in all cases. Recurrences with a volume larger than 30% compared to the initial one were observed in only 8 patients (8.7% of cases). Complications, such as fever and transient urinary leakage, seldom occurred. The authors conclude that percutaneous alcoholization today represents the first choice option for most renal cysts.
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