Multi-institutional Evaluation of Upper Urinary Tract Biopsy Using Backloaded Cup Biopsy Forceps, a Nitinol Basket, and Standard Cup Biopsy Forceps

Daniel J. Lama, Shoaib Safiullah, Roshan M. Patel, Thomas K. Lee, Jyoti P. Balani, Lishi Zhang, Zhamshid Okhunov, Vitaly Margulis, Stephen J. Savage, Edward Uchio, Jaime Landman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare the performance of 3 contemporary ureteroscopic biopsy devices for the histopathologic diagnosis of upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC). Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 145 patients who underwent 182 urothelial biopsies using 2.4F backloaded cup biopsy forceps, a nitinol basket, or 3F standard cup biopsy forceps at 3 tertiary academic centers between 2011 and 2016. Experienced genitourinary pathologists provided an assessment of each specimen without knowledge of the device used for biopsy. For patients who underwent nephroureterectomy without neoadjuvant chemotherapy within 3 months of biopsy-proven UTUC diagnosis, the biopsy grade was compared with both the grade and stage of the surgical specimen. Results: Biopsy utilization varied among the 3 institutions (P <.0001). Significant variabilities in specimen size (P =.001), the presence of intact urothelium (P =.008), and crush artifact (P =.028) were found among the biopsy devices. The quality of specimens from backloaded cup forceps was rated similarly to the nitinol basket (P >.05) and was favored over standard cup forceps specimens. Grade concordance was not affected by specimen size (P >.05), morphology (P >.1), or location (P >.5). No difference existed among the devices in the rate of acquiring a grade concordant biopsy; however, the backloaded cup forceps provided concordant biopsies that could be distinguished as low- and high-grade (P =.02). Conclusion: The backloaded cup forceps and nitinol basket obtained a higher quality urothelial specimen compared with standard cup forceps. Ureteroscopic biopsy device selection did not significantly impact the accuracy of the histologic diagnosis of UTUC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-94
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Jul 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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