Older patients suffer from adverse histopathological features after radical cystectomy


  • Ethical consideration: The study was carried out under an institutional review board-approved protocol and all patients signed written informed consent before surgery.

Michael Rink M.D., Department of Urology, University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, D-20246 Hamburg, Germany. Email: mrink@uke.uni-hamburg.de


Objectives:  Radical cystectomy (RC) remains a complex procedure in older patients. Perioperative morbidity can be significant and it can represent a limitation for its indication in this population. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the outcomes of RC in elderly patients from a large single-center cohort.

Methods:  A total of 447 patients who underwent RC between 1996 and 2009 at our institution were considered. Patients were stratified by age (≤70 vs >70 years). Logistic regression analyses were carried out comparing both groups regarding clinical, perioperative and histopathological findings, as well as complications according to the modified Clavien system and survival.

Results:  Data of 390 patients were available for the analysis. Of these, 265 (67.9%) versus 125 (32.1%) patients were <70 versus ≥70 years-of-age. The median age was 61 and 75 years, respectively. In the elderly, ASA score (P < 0.001), delay between transurethral resection of the bladder (TURBT) and RC (P = 0.004), and number of perioperative blood transfusions (P = 0.002) were significantly higher. Additionally, a clear trend towards higher stages (pT3–4) was observed (P = 0.04). However, complications, and overall and cancer-specific mortality were not increased in older patients. Finally, age was identified as a significant risk factor for upstaging (P = 0.04). Upstaging between TURBT and final histopathology in patients <70 versus ≥70 years occurred in 45% versus 58%, respectively (P = 0.03).

Conclusions:  RC is equally feasible in older patients without increasing morbidity or mortality. On the contrary, older patients have a higher risk of significant upstaging and advanced stages at final histopathology. These findings suggest that RC should neither be delayed in nor withheld from elderly patients.