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The Remaining Ipsilateral Ureteral Orifice Provokes Intravesical Tumor Recurrence After Nephroureterectomy for Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma: A Multicenter Study With a Mid-Term Follow-Up

      Objectives

      To investigate the impact of the remnant ureteral orifice (RUO) on the prognosis of upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC), because the presence of an ipsilateral intact ureteral orifice is not an uncommon finding during follow-up cystoscopy despite the clinical relevance of bladder cuffing during radical nephroureterectomy (RNU) for the management of UTUC.

      Methods

      The records of patients who underwent RNU in all tertiary hospitals in Daegu province (2011-2018) were retrospectively reviewed. Subjects were allocated to RUO or non-RUO groups. Cox proportional hazard models were used to identify variables. The primary endpoint was a 5-year intravesical recurrence-free survival (RFS).

      Results

      Of the 164 patients enrolled, 45 (27.4%) had an RUO by postoperative cystoscopy. The characteristics of the RUO and non-RUO groups were similar. During mean follow-up of 76.4 months (range: 69.5-83.4), 21 (46.7%) subjects in the RUO group and 25 (21.0%) in the non-RUO group experienced intravesical recurrence (P = .001). Among them, 3 (6.7%) and 14 (8.5%) developed distant metastasis (P = .339), and 3 (6.7%) and 9 (7.6%) succumbed to UTUC (P = .844), respectively. The 5-year RFS was lower in the RUO group than in the non-RUO counterpart (45.6% vs 77.8%, P = .003). Multivariate analysis showed lymphovascular invasion (hazard ratio [HR] = 3.593, P = .002), lymph nodal involvement (HR = 2.336, P = .038), and the presence of RUO (HR = 2.058, P = .026) predicted 5-year RFS.

      Conclusion

      The presence of RUO after RNU was found to be significantly associated with intravesical tumor recurrence, and this finding emphasizes the quality of bladder cuffing during RNU, which could be assessed by complete removal of the natural orifice.
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