Transurethral resection in one piece (TURBO) is an accurate tool for pathological staging of bladder tumor


Rinzo Ukai md, Department of Urology, Hiroshima General Hospital of West Japan Railway Company, 3-1-36 Futaba-no-sato, Higashi-ku, Hiroshima 732-0057, Japan. Email:


Objectives:  To demonstrate the usefulness of transurethral resection in one piece (TURBO) as an accurate pathological staging tool for bladder tumor.

Methods:  Ninety-seven patients with newly diagnosed bladder cancer underwent TURBO that was performed either in an en bloc or in a divisional manner. The histological quality of the resection specimens was evaluated and the pathological stage was assigned on the basis of the depth of invasion, which was histologically determined.

Results:  Specimens obtained by TURBO were well oriented and their 3-D architecture was maintained. This allowed a histological assessment of the entire specimen. Portions of muscularis propria were identified beneath the tumor base in the specimens of 80 (82%) patients. In only seven (7%) patients, the tumors had a deep resection margin positive for carcinoma and were ambiguously staged as “pT1 or higher” or “pT2 or higher”. Thus, definite pathological staging of TURBO specimens was possible in 90 (93%) patients (pTa, 30; pT1, 58; pT2, 2).

Conclusions:  An accurate pathological stage can be assigned to the TURBO specimen in most bladder cancer patients.