Is cystoscopy indicated for incidentally identified bladder wall thickening?

Daniel S. McPartlin, Adam P. Klausner, Charles U. Nottingham, Jeffrey P. Wolters, Albert Petrossian, Laura R. Carucci, B. Mayer Grob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the yield of cystoscopy in detecting bladder malignancy following incidentally identified bladder wall thickening observed on computed tomography (CT) scans. Methods and materials: Data from 3000 consecutive patients who underwent diagnostic cystoscopy at a single institution from 2006-2009 were collected retrospectively. All prior CT scan reports were reviewed, and patients whose sole indication for cystoscopy was incidentally detected bladder wall thickening were identified. Patients were categorized as diffuse thickening, focal thickening, or focal bladder mass based on the radiologist's report. Collected data included patient age, gender, race, smoking history, history of hematuria, medications for benign prostate hypertrophy or overactive bladder as well as cystoscopy results, pathology results, and follow up. Results: Twenty-two patients (0.7% of cystoscopies) underwent cystoscopy for incidentally identified bladder wall thickening including 11 (50%) with focal bladder wall thickening, 8 (36.4%) with diffuse bladder wall thickening, and 3 (13.6%) with focal bladder mass lesions. Five patients (22.7%) had suspicious lesions on cystoscopy requiring endoscopic surgery with biopsy. Two patients with focal bladder mass lesions were found to have low grade, superficial bladder cancer (66.7% of patients with focal bladder mass lesions and 9.1% of all patients with incidental bladder wall thickening). No patients with diffuse or focal bladder wall thickening had malignancy. Conclusions: Incidental findings of diffuse and focal bladder wall thickening on CT scan were found to have a low yield for the detection of urinary tract malignancy. Incidentally detected focal bladder mass lesions are more likely to have malignant pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6615-6619
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Bladder cancer
  • Computed tomography
  • Cystoscopy
  • Incidental finding
  • Urinary bladder


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