Ureteral retrograde brush
Biopsy - brush - urinary tract; Retrograde ureteral brush biopsy cytology; Cytology - ureteral retrograde brush biopsy
How the Test is Performed
This procedure is done using:
- Regional (
spinal) anesthesia General anesthesia
You will not feel any pain. The test takes about 30 to 60 minutes.
- Then a guide wire is inserted through the cystoscope into the ureter (the tube between the bladder and kidney).
- The cystoscope is removed. But the guide wire is left in place.
- A ureteroscope is inserted over or next to the guide wire. The ureteroscope is a longer, thinner telescope with a small camera. The surgeon can see the inside of the ureter or kidney through the camera.
- A nylon or steel brush is placed through the ureteroscope. The area to be biopsied is rubbed with the brush. Biopsy forceps may be used instead to collect a tissue sample.
- The brush or biopsy forceps is removed. The tissue is taken from the instrument.
The sample is then sent to a pathology lab for analysis. The instrument and guide wire are removed from the body. A small tube or stent may be left in the ureter. This prevents a kidney blockage caused by swelling from the procedure. It is removed later.
How to Prepare for the Test
You may not be able to eat or drink anything for about 6 hours before the test. Your health care provider will tell you how you need to prepare.
How the Test will Feel
You may have some mild cramping or discomfort after the test is over. You may have a burning feeling the first few times you empty your bladder. You may also urinate more often or have some blood in your urine for a few days after the procedure. You may have discomfort from the stent that will continue to be in place until it is removed at a later time.
Why the Test is Performed
This test is used to take a sample of tissue from the kidney or ureter. It is performed when an
The tissue appears normal.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Abnormal results may show cancer cells (
Risks for anesthesia and surgery in general are:
- Reactions to medicines
- Breathing problems
- Bleeding, blood clots
Another possible risk for this procedure is damage that creates a hole (perforation) in the ureter. This can cause scarring of the ureter and you may need another surgery to correct the problem. Tell your provider if you have an allergy to seafood. This could cause you to have an
This test should not be performed in people with a:
- Urinary tract infection
- Blockage at or below the biopsy site
You may have
A small amount of
Call your provider if you have:
- Pain that is bad or is not getting better
- Very bloody urine
- Bleeding that continues after you have emptied your bladder 3 times
Kallidonis P, Liatsikos E. Urothelial tumors of the upper urinary tract and ureter. In: Partin AW, Dmochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 98.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Cystoscopy & ureteroscopy.
Review Date: 10/04/2022
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Information developed by A.D.A.M., Inc. regarding tests and test results may not directly correspond with information provided by UCSF Health. Please discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.