Preoperative Hydronephrosis Predicts Extravesical and Node Positive Disease in Patients Undergoing Cystectomy for Bladder Cancer

C. J. Stimson, Michael S. Cookson, Daniel A. Barocas, Peter E. Clark, John E. Humphrey, Sanjay G. Patel, Joseph A. Smith, Sam S. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Preoperative hydronephrosis may be associated with a worse outcome in patients who undergo radical cystectomy for invasive bladder cancer. We characterized the prognostic significance of hydronephrosis, and its relationship to cancer stage and outcome. We also evaluated concordance between the side of identifiable hydronephrosis and concomitant pelvic lymph node metastasis. Materials and Methods: We analyzed information from our prospectively collected database of patients who underwent radical cystectomy for bladder cancer from January 2001 to December 2007. We examined the relationship between hydronephrosis and clinical variables as well as survival outcome. Hydronephrosis was diagnosed intraoperatively or by radiographic imaging within 3 months of radical cystectomy. Results: Of 753 patients 244 (32%) were diagnosed with hydronephrosis. Logistic regression modeling revealed that hydronephrosis was an independent predictor of extravesical disease (OR 2.01, 95% CI 1.37 to 2.96, p <0.001) and node positive disease (OR 1.94, 95% CI 1.29 to 2.91, p = 0.001). Of patients with hydronephrosis 88 (36.1%) had concomitant node positive disease and 74 (30.3%) had node positive disease on the same side as hydronephrosis. Thus, hydronephrosis predicted the side of nodal involvement in 74 of 88 patients (84%) with identifiable hydronephrosis and node positive disease. Conclusions: Hydronephrosis is an independent predictor of advanced bladder cancer stage, and it predicts extravesical disease and node positive disease. Thus, it could prove useful to select patients for neoadjuvant chemotherapy before surgery. The strong correlation between hydronephrosis side and nodal metastasis may have implications for surgical staging and approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1732-1737
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • cystectomy
  • hydronephrosis
  • mortality
  • neoplasm staging
  • urinary bladder neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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