Renal Cell Carcinoma with Supradiaphragmatic Tumor Thrombus: Avoiding Sternotomy and Cardiopulmonary Bypass

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Marina M. Tabbara Javier González Gaetano Ciancio


Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) accounts for 2-3% of all malignant disease in adults and has a propensity to infiltrate the surrounding adjacent structures with a biologic predisposition for vascular invasion. This tropism for the venous system facilitates propagation into the renal vein and inferior vena cava (IVC) in up to 25% of patients with RCC. Surgical resection remains the mainstay treatment for RCC with venous tumor thrombus (TT) extension and the only hope for a potential cure. Higher thrombus levels correlate with more advanced stages of disease and thus poorer survival rates. Although CPB with circulatory arrest has been successfully performed during resection of these tumors, its use remains controversial due to the risk of coagulopathy, platelet dysfunction, and central nervous system complications. Complete intraabdominal surgical excision of level III thrombi can be achieved without sternotomy and CPB by utilizing hepatic mobilization maneuvers. The purpose of this review is to provide an update on the surgical management of these difficult cases of RCC with supradiaphragmatic tumor thrombi, including a description of transplant-based techniques that avoid sternotomy and cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), minimizing intra- and post-operative complications.

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TABBARA, Marina M.; GONZÁLEZ, Javier; CIANCIO, Gaetano. Renal Cell Carcinoma with Supradiaphragmatic Tumor Thrombus: Avoiding Sternotomy and Cardiopulmonary Bypass. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 10, n. 7, july 2022. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 08 aug. 2022. doi:
Research Articles


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