Can preoperative imaging characteristics predict pT3 bladder cancer following cystectomy?

Bladder Cancer

World J Urol. 2020 Jul 28. doi: 10.1007/s00345-020-03375-w. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: Imaging characteristics in bladder cancer (BC), such as hydronephrosis, are predictive of ≥ pT3 disease at time of radical cystectomy (RC). The predictive capacity of other findings, such as perivesical stranding (PS), remains unclear. We investigated whether PS was associated with ≥ pT3 BC in patients who did not receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC).

METHODS: We identified 433 patients with BC who underwent RC from 2003 to 2018 of which 128 did not receive NAC. Evidence of PS on pre-TURBT imaging was determined by radiologist review and a stranding grading system was created. Factors associated with PS and hydronephrosis were identified. Multivariable logistic regressions evaluated PS and hydronephrosis as predictors for ≥ pT3 BC.

RESULTS: Of the 128 patients who did not receive NAC, 48 (38%) had pT3 and 12 (9%) had pT4 BC. 125 (98%) patients had CT and three (2%) had MRI. PS and hydronephrosis on imaging were identified in 19 (15%) and 45 (35%) patients. PS was not associated with imaging type (p = 0.38), BMI (p = 0.18), or pathologic T stage (p = 0.24). Hydronephrosis was more frequently associated with higher pathologic T stage (p = 0.034). Multivariable analysis demonstrated that PS was not predictive of ≥ pT3 BC (p = 0.457), while hydronephrosis was positively associated (p = 0.003). Stratification by grade of stranding did not improve the predictive capacity of PS (p = 0.667).

CONCLUSION: While hydronephrosis is an indicator of higher stage BC, PS failed to be a reliable predictor of ≥ pT3 stage. These observations should give pause in using PS on imaging to guide decisions until further investigations can be explored.