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J Urol. 1996 Apr;155(4):1218-20.

Ureteral frozen section analysis during cystectomy: a reassessment.

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  • 1James Buchanan Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical Institution, Baltimore, Maryland 21287-6101, USA.



Frozen section analysis of the distal ureteral margins is commonly performed at cystectomy to exclude involvement of tumor in retained ureter. We reviewed our experience with 101 consecutive cystectomies to determine the contemporary incidence and clinical significance of the urothelial abnormalities detected by frozen section analysis performed at operation.


The pathology reports for 101 patients treated with nerve sparing cystectomy between 1982 and 1989 were reviewed. Frozen section and final ureteral analyses were compared.


Of the patients 8% had evidence of a urothelial abnormality ranging from mild atypia to frank carcinoma in situ involving the distal ureters on frozen section. Only 4 patients had documented carcinoma in situ at the final margin and all 4 ultimately died of disease. The frozen section false-positive and false-negative rates were 2 and 6%, respectively. In 6 patients with ureteral urothelial abnormalities documented on frozen section ureterointestinal anastomosis was performed despite persistent abnormalities at the ureteral margins, frequently after multiple frozen analyses failed to clear the margins definitively. None of the 6 patients in this group experienced upper tract recurrence during a mean followup of 41 months.


These data suggest that routine frozen section analysis of the ureteral margins at cystectomy may not be necessary for most patinets undergoing cystectomy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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