CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 1355–1363

Quality-of-Life Assessment After Palliative Interventions to Manage Malignant Ureteral Obstruction

  • Wayne Laurence Monsky
  • Chris Molloy
  • Bedro Jin
  • Timothy Nolan
  • Dayantha Fernando
  • Shaun Loh
  • Chin-Shang Li
Clinical Investigation



Malignancies may cause urinary tract obstruction, which is often relieved with placement of a percutaneous nephrostomy tube, an internal double J nephro-ureteric stent (double J), or an internal external nephroureteral stent (NUS). We evaluated the affect of these palliative interventions on quality of life (QoL) using previously validated surveys.


Forty-six patients with malignancy related ureteral obstruction received nephrostomy tubes (n = 16), double J stents (n = 15), or NUS (n = 15) as determined by a multidisciplinary team. QoL surveys were administered at 7, 30, and 90 days after the palliative procedure to evaluate symptoms and physical, social, functional, and emotional well-being. Number of related procedures, fluoroscopy time, and complications were documented. Kruskal–Wallis and Friedman’s test were used to compare patients at 7, 30, and 90 days. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient was used to assess correlations between clinical outcomes/symptoms and QoL.


Responses to QoL surveys were not significantly different for patients receiving nephrostomies, double J stents, or NUS at 7, 30, or 90 days. At 30 and 90 days there were significantly higher reported urinary symptoms and pain in those receiving double J stents compared with nephrostomies (P = 0.0035 and P = 0.0189, respectively). Significantly greater fluoroscopy time was needed for double J stent–related procedures (P = 0.0054). Nephrostomy tubes were associated with more frequent minor complications requiring additional changes.


QoL was not significantly different. However, a greater incidence of pain in those receiving double J stents and more frequent tube changes in those with nephrostomy tubes should be considered when choosing palliative approaches.


Quality of life Nephrostomy Nephroureteral stent Ureteral obstruction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York and the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wayne Laurence Monsky
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chris Molloy
    • 3
  • Bedro Jin
    • 3
  • Timothy Nolan
    • 2
  • Dayantha Fernando
    • 2
    • 4
  • Shaun Loh
    • 2
  • Chin-Shang Li
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyUniversity of Washington Medical CenterSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyUniversity of California Davis Medical CenterSacramentoUSA
  3. 3.School of MedicineUniversity of California, DavisSacramentoUSA
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  5. 5.Division of Biostatistics, Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of California, DavisDavisCA

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