Long-term follow-up of patients with tumours of the renal pelvis and ureter: How often is a bladder tumour diagnosed after five tumour-free years?

Sten Holmäng, Sonny L. Johansson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Objective. It is not known when cystoscopy follow-up should be terminated after surgery for tumours of the renal pelvis and ureter [upper urinary tract tumours (UUTTs)]. The aim of this study was to investigate the length of the interval from surgery to diagnosis of the first bladder tumour. Material and methods. A review was performed of all 930 patients who were diagnosed with a UUTT from 1971 to 1998 in western Sweden. The time to the first bladder tumour was estimated using Kaplan - Meier analyses. Univariate and multivariate analyses of potential risk factors for bladder recurrence were performed. Results. In total, 614 patients were treated surgically for a renal pelvic or ureteral tumour and underwent cystoscopy at least 3 months afterwards. Of these 614 patients,192 (31.3%) patients developed a bladder tumour after the upper tract surgery. The majority, 157 out of 192 patients (81.8%), were diagnosed during the first 2 years, an additional 24 patients (12.5%) during years 3 - 5 and 11 patients (5.7%) between years 5 and 20. A history of bladder tumours, large tumour diameter, carcinoma in situ and UUTT diagnosed during the last part of the study period were significant risk factors for bladder recurrence after upper tract surgery. Conclusion. Cystoscopy should be performed at short intervals during the first 2 years after surgery for a UUTT, in particular among patients with a history of bladder tumours. Late bladder recurrences are unusual; therefore, as a rule, follow-up cystoscopy should be terminated after 5 tumour-free years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian Journal of Urology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014



  • Bladder cancer
  • Long-term prognosis
  • Recurrence
  • Renal pelvic carcinoma
  • Ureteral carcinoma
  • Urothelial cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Urology

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