Low diagnostic sensitivity of cystoscopy and cystography of surgically confirmed vesicoenteric fistulae

Florian A. Stroie, Osamah M. Hasan*, Matthew D. Houlihan, Brian J. McArdle, Courtney M.P. Hollowell, Jennifer Blumetti, Patricia P. Vidal, Sarah P. Psutka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The objective of this study was to assess the accuracy of cystoscopy and cystography, as compared to other diagnostic studies, in identifying vesicoenteric fistulae (VEF) in a contemporary series of patients with surgically confirmed VEF. Methods: With institutional review board approval, we performed a single-center retrospective review of surgically confirmed VEF between 2002 and 2018. Demographic data, comorbidities, symptoms, and diagnostic evaluation were reviewed. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of cystoscopy in diagnosis of VEF were compared to cross-sectional imaging. Results: The study cohort consisted of 51 patients with surgically confirmed VEF secondary to diverticular disease. Diagnostic evaluation included cross-sectional imaging with CT (94%), colonoscopy (82%), cystoscopy (75%), cystography (53%), and barium enema (26%). Cystoscopic evaluation definitively demonstrated evidence of VEF in 34% of patients, while 55% of patients had nonspecific urothelial changes on cystoscopy without definitively demonstrating VEF. Comparatively, the sensitivity of VEF was 25% for cystography and 84% for CT. Conclusions: In clinical practice, the diagnostic work-up of VEF is variable. In the modern era of managed care, inclusion of cystoscopy and cystography in the evaluation of VEF does not contribute a substantial additive benefit over standard cross-sectional imaging. Cystoscopy and cystography could potentially be eliminated from the diagnostic evaluation of VEF, in the absence of a concern for malignancy, in an effort to minimize unnecessary invasive testing as well as health care expenditures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1203-1208
Number of pages6
JournalInternational urology and nephrology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Cystography
  • Cystoscopy
  • Diagnosis
  • Fistula
  • Vesicoenteric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Urology


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