Upper Tract Imaging in Patients with Initial or Terminal Hematuria Suggestive of Bleeding from the Lower Urinary Tract: How Often is the Upper Urinary Tract Responsible for the Hematuria?
Author(s): Al-Mula Abed, Omar W. S.; Srirangam, Shalom J.; Wemyss-Holden, Guy D.
Source: Oman Medical Journal; Sep 2018; vol. 33 (no. 5); p. 374-379
Publication Date: Sep 2018
Publication Type(s): Academic Journal
Available at Oman Medical Journal - from Europe PubMed Central - Open Access
Abstract:Objectives: Visible hematuria (VH) is a common urological complaint. A history of initial or terminal VH in men is indicative of a lower urinary tract (LUT) source. A careful clinical history could limit unnecessary extensive upper tract imaging in this group of patients with VH. We conducted a single-center prospective study to examine the usefulness of investigating the upper tract in patients with a history of VH likely from a LUT source (initial and/or terminal VH) with specific reference to the incidence of demonstrable significant upper tract abnormalities. Methods: We conducted a single-center prospective study of consecutive male patients presenting with VH over eight months. All patients underwent standard investigations including physical examination, flexible cystoscopy (FC), and radiological imaging (ultrasound scan (USS) and/or computed tomography urogram (CTU)). Those with a clear history of initial or terminal VH were identified for further scrutiny with regards to detectable upper tracts abnormalities. Results: In total, 57 patients (aged 23--95 years) with initial or terminal VH were identified. Of these, 56 had FC and nine patients were subsequently diagnosed with a LUT malignancy. With regards to upper urinary tract (UUT), 35 patients (61.4%) had an USS, 46 (80.7%) underwent a CTU, and 25 (43.9%) patients had both. In this group, no UUT malignancy was identified on upper tract imaging. Conclusions: Initial or terminal VH patients may not need extensive upper tract imaging. FC is recommended, but a non-invasive USS can be a safe initial investigation for the UUT, with a CTU subsequently considered in those with abnormalities on USS and those with ongoing bleeding. Further combined multicenter analysis will help corroborate these findings and could have several beneficial outcomes including a reduction in investigations cost, patient inconvenience, and ionizing radiation.
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