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Urol Int. 2005;74(2):97-101.

Fluorescence cystoscopy in the management of bladder cancer: a help for the urologist!

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Department of Urology, CHUV, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.


As a disease characterized by a nature polymorphic and fluctuant in its evolution, superficial transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder remains a perpetual therapeutic challenge, and raises a great interest in the development of new diagnostic and surveillance techniques. This paper reviews 10 years of experience of fluorescence cystoscopy, a simple technique perfectly adapted to the current endoscopic equipment. Its principle is to enhance the visual contrast between benign and malignant cells. Three photosensitizing agents are available, two prodrugs: delta-aminolevulinic acid or hexaminolevulinate, and a natural substance: hypericin. With a detection rate of over 90% for carcinoma in situ and a real potential for detecting small tumors overlooked by standard cystoscopy, fluorescence cystoscopy may be clearly recommended in clinical practice. This technique favors a standardization of superficial bladder cancer endoscopic management and is susceptible to have a real impact on the disease recurrence and progression rate.

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