Upper urinary tract recurrence after radical cystectomy for bladder cancer: Incidence and risk factors

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Abstract

Objectives:

To examine the incidence of and the risk factors for upper urinary tract recurrence in patients undergoing a radical cystectomy for bladder cancer, and to examine the clinical course of patients harboring upper urinary tract recurrence.

Methods:

This retrospective study included 362 patients who underwent radical cystectomy for bladder cancer. Patients with a history of upper urinary tract recurrence and concomitant upper urinary tract recurrence at cystectomy were excluded.

Results:

After a median follow up of 48 months (range 0–214) after radical cystectomy, 11 patients (3.0%) developed upper urinary tract recurrence. The median time to upper urinary tract recurrence was 48.4 months (range 11.6–78.6). The overall probability of upper urinary tract recurrence was 3.3% at 5 years. The median overall survival period after upper urinary tract recurrence was 23.5 months (range 4.3–53.9), with a better overall survival for patients who received a radical operation than for those who did not (38.6 months vs 11.9 months, respectively; P = 0.03). At multivariable analysis, the presence of carcinoma in situ (P < 0.01) and invasion of the urethra (P = 0.02) were independent risk factors for upper urinary tract recurrence. The 5-year upper urinary tract recurrence was significantly higher for patients positive for either of these risk factors than for those without risk factors (12.0% vs 0.9%, respectively; P < 0.001).

Conclusions:

This study shows that the presence of carcinoma in situ and cancer invading the urethra are risk factors for upper urinary tract recurrence. Close follow up is needed for early detection of upper urinary tract recurrence in patients at higher risk.

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