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Lasers Surg Med. 2019 Mar 28. doi: 10.1002/lsm.23079. [Epub ahead of print]

Grading upper tract urothelial carcinoma with the attenuation coefficient of in-vivo optical coherence tomography.

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Department of Urology, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Cancer Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Physics, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Cancer Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



With catheter based optical coherence tomography (OCT), high resolution images of the upper urinary tract can be obtained, thereby facilitating the detection of upper tract urothelial carcinomas (UTUC). We hypothesized that the attenuation coefficient of the OCT signal (μOCT ) is related to the histopathologic grade of the tumor.


In this study, we aimed to define the μOCT cut-off for discriminating high grade and low grade papillary UTUC.


For this post-hoc analysis, data from OCT imaging of papillary UTUC was obtained from patients during ureterorenoscopy. OCT images and raw data were simultaneously analyzed with in-house developed software. The μOCT determined in papillary UTUCs and corresponding histopathologic grading from either biopsies or radical resection specimens were compared.


Thirty-five papillary UTUC from 35 patients were included. μOCT analysis was feasible in all cases. The median μOCT was 3.3 mm-1 (IQR 2.7-3.7 mm-1 ) for low-grade UTUC and 4.9 mm-1 (IQR 4.3-6.1 mm-1 ) for high-grade UTUC (P = 0.004). ROC analysis yielded a μOCT cut-off value of >4.0 mm-1 (AUC = 0.85, P < 0.001) with a sensitivity of 83% and a specificity of 94% for high-grade papillary UTUC.


This study proposes a μOCT cut-off of 4.0 mm-1 for quantitative grading of UTUC with ureterorenoscopic OCT imaging. The promising diagnostic accuracy calculations justify further studies to validate the proposed cut-off value. Implementation of the software for the μOCT analysis in OCT systems may allow for μOCT assessment at real time during ureterorenoscopy. Lasers Surg. Med. 9999:1-8, 2019. © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


histologic grading; optical coherence tomography; optical imaging; urothelial carcinoma of the upper urinary tract


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