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Urology. 2004 Feb;63(2):354-8.

Late urologic effects after adjuvant irradiation in stage I endometrial carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.



To evaluate the incidence and type of incontinence after external beam radiotherapy (RT) and brachytherapy. Distinct late effects on the urinary bladder can occur and are frequently mild after adjuvant RT for Stage I endometrial carcinoma. Not all side effects that impair quality of life (eg, urinary incontinence) are classified in the commonly used grading system.


Forty-one patients were evaluated for newly occurred urinary incontinence after adjuvant RT. The mean follow-up was 64.8 months, and the mean age was 62.1 years. The validated incontinence score from Gaudenz was used. Additionally, quality-of-life questions were asked.


Overall, 22 (53.7%) of 41 patients complained of urinary incontinence. Urge incontinence was classified in 45.5% (10 of 22 patients) and stress urinary incontinence in 54.5% (12 of 22 patients).


The onset of stress urinary incontinence after brachytherapy can be explained by anatomic findings, such as adverse affects to the nerve supply of the rhabdosphincter. According to our results, the exposure to additional external beam RT can cause urge incontinence. Patients and doctors must be aware that urinary incontinence, with an occurrence rate of more than 50%, represents the most common side effect after surgery and RT for Stage I endometrial carcinoma. We conclude that, depending on the type of RT, a stress incontinence rate of 24.4% and an urge incontinence rate of 29.2% is possible.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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