Renal mass sampling: An enlightened perspective

Mary K. Samplaski, Ming Zhou, Brian R. Lane, Brian Herts, Steve C. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Renal mass sampling (RMS) can be carried out by core biopsy or fine needle aspiration with each presenting potential advantages and limitations. The literature about RMS is confounded by a lack of standardized techniques, ambiguous terminology, imprecise definitions of accuracy, substantial rates of non-informative biopsies, and recurrent diagnostic challenges with respect to eosinophilic neoplasms. Despite these concerns, RMS has an expanding role in the evaluation and treatment of renal masses, in order to stratify biological aggressiveness and guide management that can range from surgery to active surveillance. Non-informative biopsies can be managed with surgical excision or repeat biopsy, with the latter showing encouraging results in recent studies. We propose a new classification in which all biopsies are categorized as non-informative versus informative, with the latter being subclassified as confirmed accurate, presumed accurate or confirmed inaccurate. This terminology will facilitate the comparison of results from various studies and stimulate progress. Incorporation of novel biomarkers and molecular fingerprinting into RMS protocols will likely allow for more rational management of patients with renal masses in the near future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-19
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Angiomyolipoma
  • Fine needle aspiration
  • Oncocytoma
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Renal mass biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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