Percutaneous nephrostomy for ureteric obstruction due to advanced pelvic malignancy: Have we got the balance right? - Abstract

PURPOSE: The optimal management of patients with ureteric obstruction in advanced pelvic malignancy is unclear.

Effective judgment is required to decide which patients would benefit most from decompression of the urinary tract. The objective of our study was to assess survival and complication rates post-percutaneous nephrostomy (PCN) in patients with ureteric obstruction due to advanced pelvic malignancy.

METHODS: A detailed retrospective case review of all patients who underwent PCN for ureteric obstruction due to pelvic malignancy in one calendar year was conducted to assess indication, survival time, length of stay post-procedure and complications.

RESULTS: Thirty-six nephrostomies were performed on 22 patients with prostate cancer being the commonest primary (55 %). Renal failure was the commonest mode of presentation (56 %). Eight patients (36 %) presented without a prior diagnosis of cancer. All PCNs except one were initially technically successful, and 56 % of renal units were able to be antegradely stented and rendered free of nephrostomy. Median survival post-nephrostomy was 78 days (range 4-1,137), with the subset of bladder cancer patients having the poorest survival. Dislodgement of the nephrostomy tube was the most common troublesome complication which led to the greatest morbidity, sometimes requiring repeat nephrostomy insertion. Patients stayed for a median of 23 (range 3-89) days in hospital, which amounted to 29 % of their remaining lifetime spent in hospital.

CONCLUSIONS: Although effective in improving renal function, PCN is a procedure not without associated morbidity and does not always prolong survival. Therefore, the decision to decompress an obstructed kidney with advanced pelvic malignancy should not be taken lightly. We recommend that such cases be discussed in a multidisciplinary setting, and a decision is taken only after a full informed discussion involving patients and their relatives.

Written by:
Misra S, Coker C, Richenberg J.   Are you the author?
Department of Urology, Princess Royal Hospital, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Lewes Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 4EX, UK.

Reference: Int Urol Nephrol. 2013 May 12. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1007/s11255-013-0458-3


PubMed Abstract
PMID: 23666587

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