OBJECTIVES - To evaluate the prognostic significance of ureteral obstruction in women with cervical cancer and the result of aggressive urinary diversion.
METHODS - The clinical history and X-rays of 52 women with Stage III and IV cervical cancer seen at Vanderbilt University between 1981 and 1991 were retrospectively reviewed.
RESULTS - Twenty-nine (55.8%) of these patients had unilateral  or bilateral  ureteral obstruction. There was no statistically significant difference in the survival of patients whether or not ureteral obstruction was present. Ten of fourteen women with bilateral ureteral obstruction and 4 of the 15 patients with unilateral obstruction underwent urinary diversion by percutaneous nephrostomy  or retrograde ureteral catheterization . Complications were few. Although patients who underwent urinary diversion had somewhat better survival, it was not statistically significant.
CONCLUSIONS - Some patients with ureteral obstruction due to advanced cervical cancer can be salvaged by prompt, aggressive urinary diversion, but large trials are needed to validate this approach.