The predictive value of positive urine cytology for outcomes following radical nephroureterectomy in patients with primary upper tract urothelial carcinoma: A multi-institutional study11This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (#24791671 to Tanaka N.) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan.

Nobuyuki Tanaka, Eiji Kikuchi, Kent Kanao, Kazuhiro Matsumoto, Suguru Shirotake, Hiroaki Kobayashi, Yasumasa Miyazaki, Hiroki Ide, Jun Obata, Katsura Hoshino, Nozomi Hayakawa, Takeo Kosaka, Masafumi Oyama, Akira Miyajima, Tetsuo Momma, Ken Nakagawa, Masahiro Jinzaki, Yosuke Nakajima, Mototsugu Oya

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Background and objective: Few studies have addressed the predictive value of positive urine cytology for prognosis in patients with upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC). We investigated whether the status of preoperative urine cytology could provide additional prognostic information following radical nephroureterectomy (RNU). Materials and methods: The study included 474 patients with primary nonmetastatic UTUC (pTa-4N0M0) from a retrospective multi-institutional cohort. The median follow-up period was 35 months. Associations between the status of urine cytologic evaluation and outcomes were analyzed using multivariate Cox regression models. Urine cytology was evaluated preoperatively using voided samples. Disease recurrence was defined as any relapse in nonbladder lesions and was coded separately from intravesical recurrence. Results: Positive urine cytology was detected in 184 patients (38.8%) preoperatively. Disease recurrence occurred in 127 patients, while intravesical recurrence occurred in 219 patients; 83 patients died of UTUC during follow-up. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that only the incidence of intravesical recurrence was significantly associated with the status of urine cytologic evaluation (P = 0.024); the intravesical recurrence-free survival rates at 1 and 3 years following RNU were 61.4% and 46.2% in patients with positive urine cytology and 71.1% and 51.6% in their counterparts, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that gender (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.74, 95% confidence interval [CI]; 1.28-2.43), tumor multifocality in RNU specimens (HR = 1.64, 95% CI; 1.09-2.47), and positive urine cytology (HR = 1.41, 95% CI; 1.08-1.85) were independent risk factors for subsequent intravesical recurrence. Conclusions: The results showed the prognostic value of positive urine cytology in patients with primary UTUC, and preoperative positive urine cytology may be associated with a significant increase in the prevalence of intravesical recurrence following RNU.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48.e19-48.e26
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan



  • Intravesical recurrence
  • Nephroureterectomy
  • Upper urinary tract
  • Urine cytology
  • Urothelial carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology

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