Predictors of major complications and the association with oncological outcomes after radical cystectomy for bladder cancer: A nationwide registry study

Noor Ginkel, Dennie Meijer, Joost Boormans, Laura Mertens, Sytse Beek, André Vis*, the Dutch Cystectomy Snapshot Group

*Corresponding author for this work

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Radical cystectomy improves survival of patients with muscle invasive and high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, but is a challenging surgical procedure as patients may experience major complications after surgery.


To assess the incidence of Clavien-Dindo ≥3 complications in patients who underwent radical cystectomy and to assess the association of these complications with pre-operative and peroperative parameters. The secondary aim was to study the association of complications with long-term oncological outcome.


A nationwide registry was set up in 19 Dutch hospitals that studied patients with muscle invasive bladder cancer and high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer treated by radical cystectomy. Major complications were classified as complications that were related to uretero-ileal anastomosis, intra-abdominal (e.g. urinoma, bowel leakage) infectious and cardiovascular complications. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the correlation between these groups and perioperative, clinical and pathological factors. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were constructed to analyze the correlation between complications and overall survival.


The study population consisted of 1,464 patients, of whom 420 (29%) developed severe complications. The most common complications were intra-abdominal (n=328, 60%) and uretero-ileal anastomosis related (n=92, 17%). Male gender (odds ratio 1.6, p=0.007), American Society of Anaesthesiologists score ≥3 (odds ratio 1.6, p=0.003), Charlson Comorbidity Index score ≥5 (odds ratio 2.1, p=0.002) and blood loss >700ml (odds ratio 1.4, p=0.044) were associated with severe complications. In addition, open radical cystectomy was associated with multiple complications (odds ratio 2.6, p=0.001). Furthermore, the overall survival of patients with major complications was worse than those who had no major complications. The median overall survival was 3.8 years versus 6.2 years for patients with and without severe complications (p<0.001).


In a real-world setting, 29% of patients undergoing radical cystectomy developed severe complications. The risk of severe complications was higher in men, patients with impaired pre-operative condition, and in those who underwent open surgery. Severe complications had a negative impact on overall survival.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalMedical Research Archives
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2023

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