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Physiology - Surgery - Urology

Ureteroscopic Management of Chronic Unilateral Hematuria: A Single-Center Experience over 22 Years
Published: Friday, June 08, 2012
Author: Motoo Araki et al.

by Motoo Araki, Shinya Uehara, Katsumi Sasaki, Koichi Monden, Masaya Tsugawa, Toyohiko Watanabe, Manoji Monga, Yasutomo Nasu, Hiromi Kumon


To analyze the short and long term safety and efficacy of ureteroscopic evaluation and management of chronic unilateral hematuria.


We retrospectively reviewed patients with chronic unilateral hematuria from 1987 to 2008. The distal to middle ureter was evaluated with a semi-rigid ureteroscope without a guidewire. Subsequently, the flexible ureteroscope was advanced into the upper ureter to the renal pelvis using a low-pressure automated irrigant system (Uromat™). Lesions identified ureteroscopically were treated with diathermy fulguration.


One hundred and four (56 male, 48 female) patients were identified, with a median age of 37 (14–80) years and median follow-up of 139 (34–277) months. The median preoperative duration of gross hematuria was 5 (1–144) months. Endoscopic findings included 61 (56%) minute venous rupture (MVR; a venous bleeding without clear abnormalities), 21 (20%) hemangioma (vascular tumor-like structure), 3 (3%) varix (tortuous vein), 1 (1%) calculus and 18 (17%) no lesions. The incidence of “no lesions” was less in the recent 12 years (9%) than the first 10 years (27%), while the incidence of MVR increased from 40 to 66% (p<0.05). All patients were treated endoscopically. Immediate success rate was 96% (100% in the recent 12 years). Long-term recurrent gross hematuria rate was 7%. Six resolved spontaneously and only 1 required ureteroscopy, revealing a different bleeding site.


Ureteroscopy and diathermy fulguration is highly useful for evaluation and treatment of chronic unilateral hematuria. Sophisticated technique and improved instrumentation contributes to a better outcome.