The following article features coverage from the American Urological Association (AUA) 2019 meeting. Click here to read more of Renal & Urology News’ conference coverage.

CHICAGO—Image-guided core-needle biopsy may be a safe and effective diagnostic tool for patients undergoing radical nephroureterectomy (RNU) for upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC), according to data presented at the 2019 American Urological Association annual meeting.

“We showed that at a median biopsy-to-interval imaging time of 28.2 months that there was no evidence of tract seeding in our 42 cases,” lead investigator Jason P. Joseph, MD, of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told Renal & Urology News. “Our findings are significant, as they dispute historical concern for percutaneous biopsy tract seeding, based on isolated case reports with varying biopsy techniques.” That concern may explain why percutaneous biopsies of UTUC lesions historically have been avoided.

The 42 patients had undergone imaging-guided core-needle biopsy (CNB) prior to RNU at Mayo Clinic from 2009 to 2017. Compared with RNU pathologic findings, the rate of histologic diagnosis by CNB was 95.2%, Dr Joseph reported. In cases where CNB provided histologic grade, the rate of concordance with surgical pathology was 86.2%.

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The median age of patients at biopsy was 72.8 years. All lesions were in the intrarenal collecting system. The median tumor size was 3.2 cm. Computed tomography guidance was used in 22 cases (52.4%) and ultrasound guidance was used in 20 cases (47.5%). Minor complications occurred in 6 patients (14.3%). One 1 patient (2.4%) experienced a major complication.

Read more of Renal & Urology News’ coverage of the AUA 2019 meeting by visiting the conference page.


Joseph JP, Toussi A, Potretzke TA, et al. Percutaneous biopsy for upper tract urothelial carcinoma: safety and diagnostic accuracy. Presented at the 2019 American Urological Association annual meeting. Abstract MP50-01.