Management strategies and outcome of ureterovaginal fistulae: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Neurourol Urodyn. 2022 Feb;41(2):562-572. doi: 10.1002/nau.24874. Epub 2022 Jan 15.


Background: Genitourinary fistula is a distressful condition involving mental, social, marital, and financial repercussions.

Objective: The objective of this study is to systematically evaluate etiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, the timing of repair, and perform a meta-analysis evaluating the success rate of various treatment modalities with respect to time taken to seek treatment.

Search strategy: We performed a critical review of PubMed/Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Library in April 2020 according to the PRISMA statement. Seventeen studies were included in the final analysis and all were retrospective in design.

Selection criteria: Each article was rated by the evidence-based medicine levels of evidence scale and the Methodological Index for Nonrandomized Studies scale for assessment of bias among nonrandomized studies.

Main results: Of the 799 fistulae reported in 17 studies, endoscopic management was done in 35.6% (12 studies), whereas surgical management was preferred in 85.6% fistulae (15 studies). The pooled success of endoscopic stenting was 32% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 7-64) and 100% (95% CI: 98-100) in operated patients. Patients who underwent stenting within 2 weeks (20%), 2-6 weeks (21%), and >6 weeks (40%) had pooled success rates of 95% (95% CI: 87-100), 46% (95% CI: 0-100), and 20% (95% CI: 1-49), respectively. Patients who underwent surgical management <6 weeks (15.9%) and >6 weeks (22%) of diagnosis had pooled success rates of 100% (95% CI: 99-100) and 100% (95% CI: 99-100), respectively.

Conclusions: Stent placement as early as <6 weeks (preferably < 2 weeks) had better outcomes as compared to >6 weeks. Proceeding to surgery regardless of timing in cases of stent failure seems to be a feasible option.

Keywords: genitourinary fistula; ureteral stenting; ureteral surgery; ureterovaginal fistula.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Endoscopy
  • Female
  • Fistula*
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stents / adverse effects
  • Vaginal Fistula* / etiology
  • Vaginal Fistula* / surgery