Disagreement exists about the necessity and frequency of contrast medium imaging of the upper urinary tract in patients with transitional cell carcinoma. During a 10-year period 39 patients were treated for upper urinary tract transitional cell carcinoma. There were 3 contralateral recurrences in 33 patients treated by nephroureterectomy for the initial lesion. Of 4 patients treated initially by segmental ureterectomy or partial renal pelvectomy 1 had an ipsilateral recurrence 3 years later. Two patients with bilateral upper tract transitional cell carcinoma were treated by simple nephrectomy combined with simultaneous contralateral segmental ureterectomy or renal pelvectomy. Both patients had no evidence of recurrent tumor after 4 years of followup. Of the 39 patients with upper tract transitional cell carcinoma 6 had multiple bladder tumors or carcinoma in situ documented on biopsy before the development of an upper tract tumor. The interval between the treatment for the last bladder tumor or carcinoma in situ was 1 year in 4 patients, 2 1/2 years in 1 and 5 years in 1. Of these 6 patients 2 had bilateral upper tract tumor occurring at different times. Both patients had multiple bladder tumors diagnosed between the development of each upper tract lesion. Annual contrast medium imaging of the upper urinary tract is recommended in patients who have had multiple bladder tumors and in those who have undergone treatment for upper urinary tract transitional cell carcinoma.
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