This paper is to elucidate the correlation between different symptoms of UTUC and the clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis. The clinicopathological data of 700 consecutive patients with UTUC who were treated with radical nephroureterectomy were reviewed, and symptoms were categorized into three groups: S1-no direct symptoms, S2-local symptoms (including hematuria and flank pain) and S3-systemic symptoms. We found that the distributions of patients in the S1, S2 and S3 groups were 96 (13.7%), 601 (85.9%) and 3 (0.4%), respectively, and most patients in S1 were incidentally found to have abnormal findings on ultrasound during regular health examination. Altogether, 534 patients (76.3%) presented with gross hematuria, and 111 (15.9%) presented with flank pain. Patients in S1 had a higher rate of hydronephrosis (p < 0.001), ureteral tumors (p < 0.001), worse pre-operative renal function (p = 0.020) and lower tumor stage (p = 0.038). The presence of hematuria was significantly related with renal pelvic tumors (p < 0.001), higher pre-operative eGFR (p = 0.047), papillary tumor architecture (p = 0.005) and less hydronephrosis (p < 0.001); and the presentation of flank pain was correlated with older age (p = 0.008), ureteral location (p < 0.001), hydronephrosis (p < 0.001), sessile architecture (p < 0.001) and higher tumor grade (p = 0.003). The presence of hematuria or flank pain also failed to reach significance as an independent prognostic factor. In conclusion, asymptomatic UTUC patients are featured for more hydronephrosis and lower tumor stage, while patients who presented with flank pain had a higher risk of sessile architecture and higher tumor grade. Regular health examinations might play a useful role in the early detection of UTUC patients with no symptoms.
- Flank pain
- Routine health examination
- Upper tract urothelial carcinomas (UTUC)
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