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J Endourol. 1999 Mar;13(2):117-21.

Clinical results of the transurethreal resection and evaluation of superficial bladder carcinomas by means of fluorescence diagnosis after intravesical instillation of 5-aminolevulinic acid.

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  • 1Department of Urology, St. Joseph's Hospital, Regensburg, Germany. Thomas.Filbeck@uni-regensburg.De



The high recurrence rate of superficial bladder carcinomas requires new approaches in diagnosis and therapy. Particularly, an improvement in detection, resulting in better resection of flat lesions, which are poorly or not detectable under white light, is necessary. The effectiveness of fluorescence diagnosis for detection and transurethral resection of bladder carcinomas was investigated in a prospective study.


From 120 patients, 347 biopsies were taken or tumors resected with the aid of fluorescence from 5-aminolevulinic acid. Urothelial carcinomas and dysplasias were detected in 124 cases.


Of the lesions, 119 were fluorescence positive (N = 74 pTaG1/2; N = 9 pT1G1/2; N = 11 pT1G3; N = 7 carcinoma in situ; N = 6 p > T1; N = 12 dysplasia II), and 5 were falsely negative (N = 3 pTaG1/2; N = 1 pT1G1/2; N = 1 dysplasia II). The sensitivity of the fluorescence diagnosis (96.0%) was significantly higher than the 67.5% sensitivity of white-light cystoscopy (P < 0.0001). Taking the data for primary or recurrent tumor resection and secondary resection separately, the sensitivity was 100% and 80%, respectively, and was significantly higher than that of white-light cystoscopy, which was 80.8% and 20 %, respectively (P < 0.0001 and P < 0.0008). The lower sensitivity of fluorescence diagnosis in secondary transurethral resection is attributed to the higher rate of false-negative findings in areas of former resection.


The high rate of false-positive findings limits the correct interpretation of fluorescence findings. In spite of this, fluorescence diagnosis is superior to white-light cystoscopy in every case. By means of better detection of urothelial neoplasias and dysplasias, as well as more thorough and extensive resection under fluorescence control, it should be possible to reduce the recurrence rate of superficial bladder carcinomas.

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