Temporary targeted renal blood flow interruption using a reverse thermosensitive polymer to facilitate bloodless partial nephrectomy: a swine survival study


Peter N. Madras, Lahey Clinic, Department of Urology, 41 Mall Road, Burlington, MA 01805, USA. e-mail: Peter.Madras@Lahey.org


What's known on the subject? and What does the study add?

LumagelTM is a reverse thermosensitive polymer (RTP) that has previously been described in the literature as providing temporary vascular occlusion to allow for bloodless partial nephrectomy (PN) while maintaining blood flow to the untargeted portion of the kidney. At body temperature, LumagelTM has the consistency of a viscous gel but upon cooling rapidly converts to a liquid state and does not reconstitute thereafter. This property has allowed for it to be used in situations requiring temporary vascular occlusion. Previous experience with similar RTPs in coronary arteries proved successful, with no detectable adverse events.

We have previously described our technique for temporary vascular occlusion of the main renal artery, as well as segmental and sub-segmental renal branches, to allow for bloodless PN in either an open or minimally invasive approach. These experiments were performed in the acute setting. This study is a two-armed survival trial to assess whether this RTP is as safe as hilar clamping for bloodless PN. Surviving animals showed normal growth after using the RTP, absence of toxicity, no organ dysfunction, and no pathological changes attributable to the RTP. We conclude that LumagelTM is as safe as conventional PN with hilar clamping, while adding the advantage of uninterrupted perfusion during renal resection.


  • • To examine whether randomly selected regions of the kidney could undergo temporary flow interruption with a reverse thermosensitive polymer (RTP), LumagelTM (Pluromed, Inc., Woburn, MA, USA), followed by partial nephrectomy (PN), without adding risks beyond those encountered in the same procedure with the use of hilar clamping.


  • • A two-armed (RTP vs hilar clamp), 6-week swine survival study was performed.
  • • Four swine underwent PN using hilar clamps, while six underwent PN with flow interruption using the RTP.
  • • The RTP, administered angiographically, was used for intraluminal occlusion of segmental or subsegmental arteries and was compared with main renal artery clamping with hilar clamps. The resection site was randomized for each swine.
  • • Laboratory studies were performed preoperatively, and at weeks 1, 3 and 6.
  • • Before killing the swine, repeat angiography was performed with emphasis on the site of previous flow interruption.
  • • Gross and microscopic examination of kidney, liver, lung, heart, skeletal muscle was later performed, and the vessel that had supported the previous plug was examined.


  • • All animals survived. No abnormal chemistry or haematology results were encountered over the 6 weeks. There were no surgical complications in either group.
  • • Using angiography we found 100% patency of vessels that had been occluded with the polymer 6 weeks previously for PN. The only gross or microscopic abnormalities were related to the renal resection and scar formation, and were similar in the two groups.


  • • Targeted flow interruption with the RTP added no additional risk to PN while allowing bloodless resection and uninterrupted flow to untargeted renal tissue.