Colo-renal fistula following percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of a renal tumor. A case report and review of treatment options


Colo-renal fistula following percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of a renal tumor. A case report and review of treatment options


Allan Stolarski, MD1,2, Joanna Wang, MD1,2, Katherine He, MD1,3, Lori Lerner, MD1,2, Gentian Kristo, MD1,3

1Department of Surgery, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, USA; 2Department of Surgery, Boston Medical Center, Boston University Medical School, Boston, MA, USA; 3Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


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Background:  Colo-renal fistula formation is a very rare complication following percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in the management of renal cell carcinoma. In this paper we describe the management of a patient with a left colo-renal fistula occurring after renal tumor RFA. Additionally, we present a thorough literature review of reported cases of colo-renal fistulae after percutaneous RFA to further highlight their treatment challenges.

Summary:  Two weeks after undergoing percutaneous RFA of an incidental 3cm left renal mass, a 67-year-old male was re-admitted to the hospital with a symptomatic colo-renal fistula.  Patient ultimately failed conservative management with broad spectrum antibiotics and ureteral stent placements, and subsequently underwent segmental colonic resection and renorrhaphy, with complete renal preservation.

Conclusion: Although complications after RFA of renal tumors are rare, iatrogenic colo-renal fistula formation is a significant complication requiring a multi-disciplinary approach with a trial of non-operative management prior to surgical intervention.


Keywords: renal cancer; radiofrequency ablation, colorenal fistula


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How to cite this article:

Allan Stolarski, Joanna Wang, Katherine He, Lori Lerner, Gentian Kristo. Colo-renal fistula following percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of a renal tumor. A case report and review of treatment options. International Journal of Case Reports, 2020 4:139. DOI: 10.28933/ijcr-2020-06-0405


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