Ureteral frozen section analysis during cystectomy: A reassessment

Mark P. Schoenberg, H. Ballentine Carter, Jonathan I. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Purpose: Frozen section analysis of the distal ureteral margins is commonly performed at cystectomy to exclude involvement of tumor in the retained ureter. We reviewed our experience with 101 consecutive cystectomies to determine the contemporary incidence and clinical significance of the urothelial abnormalities detected by frozen section analysis performed at operation. Materials and Methods: The pathology reports for 101 consecutive patients treated with nerve sparing cystectomy between 1982 and 1989 were reviewed. Frozen section and final ureteral analyses were compared. Results: Of the patients 8% had evidence of a urothelial abnormality ranging from mild atypia to frank carcinoma in situ involving the distal ureters on frozen section. Only 4 patients had documented carcinoma in situ at the final margin and all 4 ultimately died of disease. The frozen section false-positive and false-negative rates were 2 and 6%, respectively. In 6 patients with ureteral urothelial abnormalities documented on frozen section ureterointestinal anastomosis was performed despite persistent abnormalities at the ureteral margins, frequently after multiple frozen analyses failed to clear the margins definitively. None of the 6 patients in this group experienced upper tract recurrence during a mean followup of 41 months. Conclusions: These data suggest that routine frozen section analysis of the ureteral margins at cystectomy may not be necessary for most patients undergoing cystectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1218-1220
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1996


  • bladder neoplasms
  • cystectomy
  • frozen sections
  • ureteral neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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