Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction for Microsatellite Analysis of Urine Sediment Cells: A Rapid and Inexpensive Method for Diagnosing and Monitoring Superficial Transitional Bladder Cell Carcinoma

J Urol. 2006 Jun;175(6):2032-7; discussion 2037. doi: 10.1016/S0022-5347(06)00283-7.


Purpose: Several urinary markers have been recently introduced in clinical practice for improving the noninvasive diagnosis of transitional cell carcinoma. Although microsatellite analysis must be considered the best method in terms of results, its cost and method time are unacceptable for daily use. We validated a more rapid and inexpensive method of determination using rapid DNA extraction and automatic multiplex polymerase chain reaction amplification.

Materials and methods: A total of 120 patients who presented consecutively to a urological office, including 73 with transitional cell carcinoma and 43 who served as controls, were selected for study. Microsatellite analysis was performed in the blood/urine pair using 3 multiplex polymerase chain reactions per patient. Urine sediment inflammatory cells were assessed by urine dipstick test. Ten microsatellite loci were investigated. Numerical data collected during electrophoresis of the amplified segment in an ABI Prism 310 Genetic Analyzer were used to calculate the cutoff for allelic imbalance. Method sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were calculated.

Results: A total of 66 patients had microsatellite analysis alterations in urine sediment, of whom 59 had transitional cell carcinoma, while 7 had other urological diseases. Test sensitivity and specificity were 80.8% and 85.1%, respectively. Statistical analysis did not indicate any significant influence of inflammatory status on microsatellite analysis diagnostic performance. In the control group the allelic imbalance on chromosome 9 was significantly lower than on other chromosomes (p = 0.0143). This could confirm that chromosome 9 has a specific role in transitional cell carcinoma. The multiplex microsatellite analysis method was low cost and not time-consuming.

Conclusions: Multiplex microsatellite analysis is a noninvasive, rapid, inexpensive and reproducible method for screening for and monitoring superficial transitional cell carcinoma. It should be considered an alternative method to urinary cytology and it should also be considered in the presence of urine sediment inflammatory cells.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / pathology*
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Microsatellite Repeats*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / economics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Time Factors
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Urine / cytology*