Incidence and Morbidity of Radiation-Induced Hemorrhagic Cystitis in Prostate Cancer

Sarah E Martin, Evan M Begun, Eglal Samir, Mohammed T Azaiza, Steven Allegro, Mazen Abdelhady
Urology 2019, 131: 190-195

OBJECTIVE: To determine if reported incidence rates of hemorrhagic cystitis after radiation therapy for prostate cancer are accurate, to investigate the effect of different radiation modalities on the development of hemorrhagic cystitis and to assess its morbidity and treatment.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective chart review was completed of 709 patients at 2 Detroit Medical Center hospitals who underwent radiation therapy for prostate cancer between January 2000 and September 2015. In patients who developed hemorrhagic cystitis, we analyzed the incidence, radiation modality, morbidity, treatment, and complications.

RESULTS: The incidence rate of hemorrhagic cystitis after radiation for prostate cancer was 11.1%. There was no significant difference between external beam and intensity-modulated radiation therapy and the development of hemorrhagic cystitis (P = .18). Patients developed hemorrhagic cystitis an average of 79.1 months (4-230 months) after radiation. The average number of admissions was 2.5 (1-9) with an average length of stay of 7.6 days (1-42 days). Fifty-two percent of patients required blood transfusion with an average of 4.3 units transfused per patient (1-33U). The most common treatment was cystoscopy with fulguration/clot evacuation in 86% of patients. Complications included urinary tract infection, acute kidney injury, urosepsis, and even death.

CONCLUSION: The incidence of hemorrhagic cystitis following radiation therapy for prostate cancer is under-reported in the literature. Hemorrhagic cystitis is associated with high morbidity and complications for patients, requiring multiple hospitalizations, blood transfusions, and procedures. Advances in radiation have not significantly reduced the risk of developing hemorrhagic cystitis.

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