Objective: To investigate the length of time from initial haematuria presentation to upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) diagnosis and the effect of gender on this duration.
Patients and methods: Patients with haematuria claims in the year prior to UTUC diagnosis were identified from the MarketScan database (2010-2014). Delayed diagnosis was defined as >90 days from haematuria presentation to UTUC diagnosis. Multivariable Poisson regression models were used to determine factors associated with delayed UTUC diagnosis.
Results: Among 1 326 patients with UTUC, 469 (35.4%) experienced delayed diagnosis. Men (n = 866) had a longer median interval from haematuria to diagnosis than women (60 vs 49 days; P = 0.04). In the multivariable model, male gender (relative risk [RR] 1.13, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.95-1.34) was not associated with delayed diagnosis, while urinary tract infection (UTI; RR 1.52, 95% CI 1.32-1.76), nephrolithiasis (RR 1.23, 95% CI 1.06-1.44), new (RR 1.37, 95% CI 1.12-1.66) and recurrent prostate-related diagnoses (RR 1.61, 95% CI 1.23-2.10) were. For men presenting to non-urologists, UTI (RR 1.44, 95% CI 1.22-1.71), nephrolithiasis (RR 1.25 95% CI 1.05-1.49), new (RR 1.41, 95% CI 1.12-1.78) and recurrent prostate-related diagnoses (RR 1.94, 95% CI 1.45-2.58) were associated with delayed diagnosis; however, for men presenting to urologists, nephrolithiasis (RR 1.08 95% CI 0.78-1.49), new (RR 1.15, 95% CI 0.79-1.68) and recurrent prostate-related diagnoses (RR 1.17, 95% CI 0.69-1.97) were not associated with delayed diagnosis, while UTI diagnosis (RR 1.74, 95% CI 1.31-2.31) was still associated with delayed diagnosis.
Conclusion: A UTUC diagnosis was made >90 days after haematuria presentation in approximately one-third of patients. Men experienced a longer median interval from haematuria to UTUC diagnosis compared with women, but male gender was not an independent predictor of delayed diagnosis. Benign diagnoses during haematuria evaluation were strongly associated with delayed diagnosis, especially among patients initially seen by non-urologists. Future interventions should focus on development of non-invasive techniques to improve clinical risk stratification of patients presenting with haematuria and to educate practitioners, especially non-urologists, with regard to the importance of a thoughtful haematuria evaluation and the common mimickers of UTUC, to help reduce delays in diagnosis.
Keywords: delayed diagnosis; haematuria; renal pelvis neoplasm; sex factors; ureteric neoplasm.
© 2017 The Authors BJU International © 2017 BJU International Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.