Introduction: Management of the distal ureter during laparoscopic nephroureterectomy (LNU) for upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) is controversial. The aim of this review was to determine whether this affects oncological outcomes. Methods: A literature review was conducted searching MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials in June 2019. Studies reporting outcomes of LNU in UTUC using either open, laparoscopic, or endoscopic approaches to excise the distal ureter were identified. All eligible studies underwent critical appraisal and were excluded if not of sufficient quality. Cumulative analysis of the results was performed. Results: Nine studies with a total of 383 patients (168 open, 159 laparoscopic, and 56 endoscopic excision of distal ureter) were eligible for inclusion. Study design and outcome reporting were variable between studies. Mean age of patients was comparable (67.7 years versus 65.0 years versus 66.6 years). Mean follow-up duration was comparable between open and laparoscopic groups (46.2 months versus 45.5 months) but reduced in the endoscopic group (33.4 months). The open group had a higher proportion of high grade/G3 tumors and pT2-4 tumors when compared to the laparoscopic and endoscopic groups (P < .001 and P = .002). The open group had a higher rate of intravesical recurrence and the laparoscopic group had a higher rate of distant metastases (P < .001). Conclusion: This review has identified differences in oncological outcomes between different techniques of managing the distal ureter in LNU for UTUC. However, the poor reporting of potentially confounding factors does not enable any one technique to be recommended as superior and requires further research.
Journal of laparoendoscopic & advanced surgical techniques. Part A. 2020 Jul 23 [Epub ahead of print]
Danielle Whiting, Seshadri Sriprasad
Department of Urology, Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, Dartford, United Kingdom.