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BJU Int. 2005 Apr;95(6):786-90.

Correlation between clinical and pathological staging in a series of radical cystectomies for bladder carcinoma.

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Department of Urology, University of Verona, Italy.



To analyse the rate of concordance between the clinical and pathological Tumour-Nodes-Metastasis staging systems in a homogeneous series of patients who had undergone radical cystectomy for locally advanced or recurrent multifocal superficial bladder carcinoma.


The clinical data of 156 patients who had undergone radical cystectomy and bilateral iliaco-obturator lymphadenectomy for bladder cancer in our department were analysed retrospectively. RESULTS The clinical stage of the primary tumour was carcinoma in situ in three patients (1.9%), cT1 in 67 (42.9%), cT2 in 70 (44.9%), cT3 in five (3.2%) and cT4 in nine (5.8%). Clinical lymph node involvement was detected in 19 patients (12.2%). The differences between clinical and pathological stages were statistically significant (P < 0.001), the concordance was moderate (kappa = 0.27, P < 0.001). Of the 70 patients with < or = cT1, 40 (57%) were reconfirmed as having pathological stage < or = T1; of the 70 with cT2, 16 (23%) had pT2 carcinoma. Of the 140 patients with clinically organ-confined (< or =T2) neoplasms, 70 (50%) had been understaged after radical cystectomy. The clinical and pathological systems were statistically overlapping for locally advanced cases only. Pathological lymph node involvement was diagnosed in 45 patients (28.8%); this was foreseen with pelvic computed tomography in 19 (12%) only (P < 0.001). All patients designated cN+ were also pN+.


These data confirm the high risk of clinical understaging of both local extension of the primary tumour and lymph node involvement.

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