Urine Cytology and Utility in Bladder Recurrence
In 2008 there was an estimated 68,810 new cases of bladder cancer, and 14,100 deaths. On the
list of morbidity due to cancer, bladder cancer ranks number nine, yet is number one in
dollars spent per cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Guidelines include cystoscopy and cytology/urine study every three months for the first 2
years and then every 6 months for the next 2 years, with the cycle being reset with every
Urine cytology currently considered the gold standard for urine tests has many pros and
cons. The points that keep it in use include: its high specificity, the ability to detect
upper tract occurrence, and the ability to monitor the small population of those with
bladder cancer whose disease becomes more aggressive. Opponents to cytology refer to the
fact that is has low sensitivity that it is fairly subjective and that newer markers in
comparison are improved.
There are multiple journal article which document the performance of cytology and the newer
markers, the new markers versus cytology and then the performance of cytology in tandem with
these new markers. The bottom line that is often overlooked is that cytology is expensive
and each of the newer markers are at least as expensive as cytology. With the fact that a
person who is diagnosed with non invasive bladder cancer can have up to 13 urine cytology's
in 5 years without any recurrence we believe newer rational recommendations need to be made
in regards to urine studies and bladder cancer follow up.
Observational Model: Case Control, Time Perspective: Retrospective
Review bladder cancer patients and form a database in regards to urine cytology.
Joseph Mashni, MD
United States: Institutional Review Board