OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of diagnostic ureteroscopy (URS) and ureteral access sheath usage on bladder recurrence following radical nephroureterectomy (RNU).
METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients who underwent RNU between 2005 - 2019. Patients with a history of bladder cancer and those without a bladder cuff resection were excluded. Bladder recurrence was the primary outcome and cox regression modeling was used to assess the impact of URS adjusting for other factors.
RESULTS: Out of 271 RNU cases, 143 were included with a median age of 73 years (IQR 65 - 80). URS was performed in 104 cases (73%) and a ureteral access sheath was used in 26 (25%). With a median follow-up of 27 months, there were 36 (25%) bladder recurrences. The bladder recurrence rate (median time to recurrence) for patients who had URS vs no URS was 30.8% (9.0 months) and 7.7% (12.1 months), respectively (P = .02). A lower recurrence rate was noted in patients whom a ureteral access sheath was utilized (11.5%) vs those with no access sheath (39.7%, P = .01). Multivariable analysis revealed a significant increase in bladder recurrence if URS was performed prior to RNU (HR 5.6 [1.7 - 18.5], P <.004), however, this effect was mitigated if a ureteral access sheath was used (HR 1.3, [0.3 - 6.4], P = .76). Ureteral stent usage and performing a ureteroscopic biopsy had no significant effect on bladder recurrence.
CONCLUSION: Diagnostic URS in patients undergoing RNU for UTUC significantly increases the risk of bladder recurrence. This effect may be mitigated by using a ureteral access sheath.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Financial Disclosure: The authors declare that they have no relevant financial interests.
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.
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