Hexaminolevulinate guided fluorescence cystoscopy reduces recurrence in patients with nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer

Arnulf Stenzl, Maximilian Burger, Yves Fradet, Lance A. Mynderse, Mark S. Soloway, J. Alfred Witjes, Martin Kriegmair, Alexander Karl, Yu Shen, H. Barton Grossman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Scopus citations


Purpose We assessed the impact that improved detection of nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer with hexaminolevulinate fluorescence cystoscopy may have on early recurrence rates. Materials and Methods This prospective, randomized study enrolled 814 patients suspected of having bladder cancer at increased risk for recurrence. All patients underwent white light cystoscopy and mapping of lesions, followed by transurethral resection of the bladder when indicated. Patients in the fluorescence group also received intravesical hexaminolevulinate solution at least 1 hour before cystoscopy to induce fluorescence of cancerous lesions, and underwent additional inspection with blue light before and after transurethral resection of the bladder. Adjuvant intravesical therapy was based on risk. Followup cystoscopy at 3, 6 and 9 months was conducted with white light. Results Detection was performed as a within patient comparison in the fluorescence group. In this group 286 patients had at least 1 Ta or T1 tumor (intent to treat). In 47 patients (16%) at least 1 of the tumors was seen only with fluorescence (p = 0.001). During the 9-month followup (intent to treat) there was tumor recurrence in 128 of 271 patients (47%) in the fluorescence group and 157 of 280 (56%) in the white light group (p = 0.026). The relative reduction in recurrence rate was 16%. Conclusions Hexaminolevulinate fluorescence cystoscopy significantly improves the detection of Ta and T1 lesions and significantly reduces the rate of tumor recurrence at 9 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1907-1914
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • 5-aminolevulinic acid hexyl ester
  • Cystoscopy
  • Fluorescence
  • Recurrence
  • Urinary bladder neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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