• Forty-nine patients underwent preoperative cystoscopy prior to surgical resection for adenocarcinoma of the rectum. There were 30 men and 19 women ranging in age from 26 to 78 years, with a median age of 59 years. Surgical resections consisted of abdominoperineal resection, posterior exenteration, or total pelvic exenteration. Twenty patients had positive findings on preoperative cystoscopy while 29 had negative findings. Of the 20 patients with positive cystoscopic findings, eight (40%) had either urologic symptoms or abnormal microscopic findings on urinalysis; however, only one of these eight patients had tumor invasion of the bladder wall at cystoscopy, while the remaining seven had associated benign conditions. In the 29 cystoscopy procedures in which findings were negative, only three patients (10%) had urologic symptoms or abnormal results of urinalysis, none of which were secondary to the rectal carcinoma. We conclude that urinary symptoms can be misleading and unreliable when predicting neoplastic involvement of the bladder by carcinoma of the rectum because of the high incidence of associated benign disorders of the bladder. Therefore, cystoscopy does not have a useful role in staging patients undergoing surgery for rectal carcinoma in terms of local tumor extension.
(Arch Surg 1987;122:929-930)