Incidence, management, and sequelae of ureteric obstruction in women with cervical cancer



Hydronephrosis due to ureteric obstruction (UO) is stage-defining at cervical cancer presentation but may occur after primary staging. We aimed to determine the incidence and review the presentation and management of UO in women with cervical cancer attending our center. Particular attention was paid to the evolving role of interventional radiology (IR) in management.


Women with a new diagnosis of cervical cancer between January 2012 and December 2016 formed the cohort that was retrospectively reviewed from the oncology database and patient records.


There were 310 women diagnosed with cervical cancer; 240 were stages I/II and 70 were stages III/IV. Primary treatments were chemoradiotherapy (n = 168; 54.2%), surgery (n = 121; 39.0%), and palliative care alone (n = 21; 6.8%). UO occurred in 74 (23.9%); present at primary staging in 53 (71.6%) and arising after staging in 21 (28.4%). Primary interventions for hydronephrosis were IR (n = 50; 67.6%), cystoscopic stenting (n = 19; 25.7%), bowel urinary conduit construction (n = 2; 2.7%), and none (n = 3; 4.1%). For those who attended IR, the mean number of IR procedures was 2.2, range 1–7. Maximum serum creatinine was 303 μmol/L for women with UO at primary staging compared with 252 μmol/L for UO after staging (P = 0.267). Thirty-eight women experienced substantial morbidity related to UO. Stage-adjusted mortality risk was 2.3 times higher for UO cases compared with those without UO.


UO is associated with substantial morbidity and survival disadvantage in cervical cancer and may present after primary cancer staging. We recommend renal biochemistry during routine follow-up. A majority of cervical cancer-associated UO cases are managed with IR in our center.

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Correspondence to Patrick J. Maguire.

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Maguire, P.J., Sobota, A., Mulholland, D. et al. Incidence, management, and sequelae of ureteric obstruction in women with cervical cancer. Support Care Cancer 28, 725–730 (2020) doi:10.1007/s00520-019-04851-9

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  • Neoplasms
  • Ureteric obstruction