NLR is predictive of upstaging at the time of radical cystectomy for patients with urothelial carcinoma of the bladder

Aaron Potretzke, Luke Hillman, Kelvin Wong, Fangfang Shi, Ryan Brower, Stephanie Mai, Jeremy P. Cetnar, Edwin Jason Abel, Tracy M. Downs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the ability of preoperative neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) to predict pathologic upstaging and nonorgan-confined (NOC) (≥pT3) disease. Methods and materials: After institutional review board approval, the records of consecutive patients undergoing radical cystectomy (RC) for urothelial carcinoma from 2002 to 2012 at the University of Wisconsin Hospital were reviewed. A total of 102 patients with NLR within 100 days of surgery were eligible for analysis. The primary outcome was difference in stage from preoperative assessment to time of RC. Differences in preoperative NLR between groups were evaluated with an unequal variance t test. A univariate analysis assessed whether NLR, preoperative stage, grade, associated lymphovascular invasion, preoperative hydronephrosis, gender, previous pelvic radiotherapy, previous intravesical bladder cancer treatments, or nodal stage were related to upstaging. Multivariate analyses were performed to evaluate the relationship of NLR to upstaging and relative organ-confined (≤pT2) and NOC disease. Results: Of 390 consecutive patients undergoing RC, 102 patients met study criteria. Overall, 55 (53.9%) patients were upstaged, 25 (25.5%) were unchanged, and 21 (20.6%) were downstaged. Fifty-one patients (50%) were upstaged to more advanced disease (≥pT3). NLR and preoperative hydronephrosis were significantly related to pathologic tumor staging. NLR, preoperative hydronephrosis, and preoperative tumor stage were significantly related to upstaging to NOC disease. Patients who were upstaged to≥pT3 demonstrated statistically significant greater NLRs (4.33±0.87) compared with patients who remained at≤pT2 stage (2.66±0.29) (P<0.001). Conclusions: Preoperative NLR is a simple measurement that can be used to identify high-risk patients who may be upstaged at the time of RC and may benefit from neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-636
Number of pages6
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Bladder cancer
  • Lymphocyte
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Neutrophil
  • Upstaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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