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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 186-192

Indications for ureteropyeloscopy in the detection of upper urinary tract tumors

1 Department of Urology, School of Medicine, Showa University, Tokyo, Japan
2 Department of Urology, Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Medical Treatment Corporation, Ebara Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Jun Morita
Department of Urology, School of Medicine, Showa University, 1-5-8, Hatanodai, Shinagawa-Ku, Tokyo, 142-8666
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/UROS.UROS_55_18

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Objectives: Ureteropyeloscopy has recently become an essential technique in the diagnosis of upper urinary tract tumors. However, no consensus has been reached regarding its indications. In addition, it is accompanied by several limitations and potential adverse events such as dissemination of malignant cells, adhesion of the ureter to the surrounding tissue, ureteral stricture, and ureteral perforation. In order to determine when and what circumstances dictate the need for ureteropyeloscopy to detect upper urinary tract tumors, we investigated the indications for ureteropyeloscopy based on voided urine cytology and preoperative radiographic findings. Patients and Methods: In this retrospective study, we evaluated 92 patients (62 men and 30 women) with a mean age of 66.4 years (range, 15–87 years) who had undergone diagnostic ureteropyeloscopy at our institution for the past 10 years. All patients were divided into six subgroups based on voided urine cytology and preoperative radiographic findings: subgroups A1 (n = 18) and A2 (n = 2), positive cytology (positive catheter urine cytology/negative catheter urine cytology) and positive images; Subgroup B (n = 19), positive cytology and negative images; Subgroups C1 (n = 30) and C2 (n = 10), negative cytology and positive images (upper urinary tract carcinomas/other abnormal findings); Subgroup D (n = 13), negative cytology and negative images. Ureteropyeloscopic findings including histology were compared with urine cytology and radiographic findings. Results: Voided urine cytology exhibited 60.4% sensitivity and 77.3% specificity, while preoperative radiographic findings exhibited 70.8% sensitivity and 63.6% specificity. Carcinomas were detected in all patients in Subgroups A1 and A2. Carcinomas were also detected in 9 patients (47.4%) in Subgroup B, of whom 5 showed a history of bladder tumors. The remaining 10 patients all had a history of bladder cancer. In Subgroups C1, C2, and D, carcinomas were detected in 14 patients (46.7%), 1 patient (10%), and 4 patients (30.8%), respectively. These results suggested that ureteropyeloscopy should be recommended for patients with negative cytology. Three complications (pyelonephritis, renal failure, and urinary retention) were noted, but none of these was severe and all were cured within a few days. No malignant findings were obtained in any of the patients during follow-up after negative findings in ureteropyeloscopy. Conclusions: Ureteropyeloscopy is essential for detecting upper urinary tract carcinoma in patients with negative voided urine cytology and positive radiographic findings. In addition, ureteropyeloscopy seems to be used commonly among patients with positive urine cytology and negative radiographic findings, or those with bleeding from the ureteral orifice. However, unless conservative nephron-sparing treatment is considered, ureteropyeloscopy may be unnecessary for patients with positive urine cytology and positive radiographic findings.

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