PURPOSE: High-grade (III, IV, V) renal injury may need interventional management. We investigated whether the selective embolization of the renal artery is effective for the treatment of major renal injury in comparison with emergency renal exploration. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the medical and radiologic records of patients who underwent surgery or embolization for renal injury (Grade III, IV, V) between January 1990 and December 2007. We analyzed the change in treatment method before and after 2000, the blood pressure, the hemoglobin at the time of visit, the hospital days and the complications in patients who received surgery or embolization. Preserved renal functions of the embolized kidneys were identified by using enhanced CT. RESULTS: Cases of surgery and embolization were 37 and 13, respectively: 5 and 4 in renal injury grade III, 17 and 6 in grade IV and 13 and 3 in grade V. Cases of surgery and embolization were 33 and 1 before 2000 and 2 and 12 after 2000, repectively: embolizations increased after 2000. No significant differences in mean diastolic pressure, hemoglobin, hospital days and complications existed between the surgery and the embolization groups (p>0.05). However, the transfusion volume was significantly smaller in the embolization group (p<0.05). One postoperative complication occurred in the surgery group. We identified the preserved renal functions of the embolized kidney by using enhanced CT. CONCLUSION: Embolization could be one treatment method for high-grade renal injury. Thus, we might suggest selective embolization a useful method for preserving the renal function in cases of high-grade renal injury.