Modern diagnostics such as endoscopy have supplanted traditional methods of diagnosing upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC), researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Mo., reported.

Goutham Vemana, MD, and colleagues identified patients aged 66-90 who underwent treatment for UTUC from 1992-2009. They found a downward trend in the use of intravenous pyelograms and retrograde pyelograms, and an increase in the use of endoscopy, computed tomography urograms, and magnetic resonance urography. The researchers observed no change in the incidence of lower stage disease over time.

Although the newer technologies have a greater sensitivity in UTUC diagnosis, only endoscopy prior to definitive management has been associated with the diagnosis of smaller tumors, the investigators stated.

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