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Can Urol Assoc J. 2013 Mar-Apr;7(3-4):E215-20. doi: 10.5489/cuaj.11236.

Preoperative hydronephrosis and diabetes mellitus predict poor prognosis in upper urinary tract urothelial carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.



We assess the impact of traditional prognostic factors, tumour location, degree of hydronephrosis and diabetes mellitus (DM) on the survival of patients treated for upper urinary tract urothelial carcinoma (UUTUC).


From January 2004 to March 2010, we analyzed data from 114 patients with UUTUC who underwent nephroureterectomy with a bladder cuff excision. Median patient age was 71 years and median follow-up was 26.5 months. The influence of traditional prognostic factors, including DM, tumour stage, grade, location and degree of hydronephrosis, on recurrence-free survival (RFS) rates were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards regression model.


Among 61 renal pelvis and 53 ureteral tumour cases, recurrence was identified in 71 cases (62.3%). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that degree of hydronephrosis was associated with RFS (p = 0.001). DM and degree of hydronephrosis were independent factors for RFS in Cox proportional regression analysis (HR=1.8 CI: 1.01-3.55, p = 0.04), (HR=3.7, CI: 2.0-6.5, p = 0.001). All patients with ureteral tumour had no worse prognosis than those with renal pelvis tumour, but the pT2 patients with ureteral tumour had a worse prognosis than those with renal pelvis tumour with a median RFS of 9 months (range: 2.6-15.3 months) and 29 months (range: 8.0-13.2 months), respectively (p = 0.028).


Tumour location is not a factor influencing RFS, except in the pT2 stage. However, severe hydronephrosis is associated with a higher recurrence in UUTUC. Also, DM is related to disease recurrence. Further prospective studies are needed to establish the prognostic significance of DM in large populations.

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