Regional, institutional and individual factors affecting selection of minimally invasive nephroureterectomy in Japan: a national database analysis

Int J Urol. 2013 Jul;20(7):695-700. doi: 10.1111/iju.12031. Epub 2012 Dec 2.


Objectives: To reveal individual, institutional and regional factors affecting selection of minimally invasive nephroureterectomy in Japan.

Methods: The Japanese Diagnosis Procedure Combination database was queried to retrieve cases of nephroureterectomy for pelvic or ureter malignancies carried out between 2007 and 2010. A multivariate logistic regression analysis with variables including age, sex, pre-existing comorbidities, tumor location, tumor-nodes-metastasis classification, academic status of hospitals, hospital volume, geographic region and year of surgery was modeled to evaluate predictors of carrying out a minimally invasive (including laparoscopic and minimum incision endoscopic) nephroureterectomy.

Results: Overall, 3863 open (58.2%), 2635 laparoscopic (39.7%) and 139 minimum incision endoscopic nephroureterectomy (2.1%) cases from 713 hospitals were identified. The proportion of minimally invasive procedures increased from 35.7% to 48.6%. Minimally invasive nephroureterectomy was the most frequently carried out in the Kinki and Chugoku regions (50.9% and 50.4%, respectively) compared with the least in the Kanto region (31.3%). Multivariate analysis showed that lower Charlson Comorbidity Index, lower tumor-nodes-metastasis stage, academic hospitals, higher operative volume centers, western regions of Japan and later year were independently associated with the use of minimally invasive nephroureterectomy. Age, sex and tumor location were not significant factors.

Conclusions: Despite regional and institutional variations, the proportion of minimally invasive nephroureterectomy has gradually increased in Japan. Minimally invasive nephroureterectomy is more likely to be carried out in patients with low tumor stage and low risk at higher volume academic hospitals. Our findings provide fundamental data for future health policies to foster nationwide healthcare uniformity.

Keywords: epidemiology; laparoscopy; nephrectomy; pelvic neoplasms; ureteral neoplasms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / ethnology*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / surgery
  • Comorbidity
  • Databases, Factual / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Nephrectomy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Selection*
  • Pelvic Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Pelvic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Ureter / surgery
  • Ureteral Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Ureteral Neoplasms / surgery