Ureteroarterial fistula treatment with open surgery versus endovascular management: Long-term outcomes

Janelle A. Fox, Amy Krambeck, E. Frederick McPhail, Deborah Lightner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Purpose Ureteroarterial fistulas can be treated with open vascular or percutaneous arterial stent placement. We compared the long-term outcomes of each treatment. Materials and Methods A single center, retrospective review of ureteroarterial fistulas (1996 to 2008) was performed. Results We identified 20 ureteroarterial fistulas in 19 patients. All patients had undergone extirpative surgery with pelvic radiation in 74% and long-term ureteral stents in 84%. At a mean followup of 15.5 months (range 1 to 99) survival was 53%. Of the 70% (14 of 20) treated with percutaneous endovascular iliac artery stenting or embolization, 2 patients later required open vascular graft and 12 were treated with long-term ureteral stenting. Of the 30% (6 of 20) of patients treated with open surgical repair or bypass 2 required bypass revision and/or thrombectomy, and 4 had concomitant ureteral ligation or nephrectomy. Despite undergoing anticoagulation 10 patients (53%) experienced lower extremity morbidity including ulceration, ischemia and amputation. In each treatment group 2 patients had recurrent hemorrhage requiring a secondary procedure, leading to death in 2 for an overall 10% acute mortality rate. Overall noncause specific mortality of ureteroarterial fistulas was 47% and 10% to 20% was related to the fistula or treatment complications. Conclusions Endovascular stenting is increasingly used in lieu of open techniques due to the high operative risk and comorbidities in patients with ureteroarterial fistulas. This retrospective review fails to identify a clear advantage for endovascular or open vascular surgical management. Thus, endovascular stenting is preferred in most cases. Regardless of therapy, patients are at risk for recurrent bleeding, lower extremity complications and stent/graft complications. The use of antibiotics and long-term anticoagulant therapy appear prudent but not proved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)945-950
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • aneurysm, false
  • fistula
  • hematuria
  • stents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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