Objectives. To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of the Bard BTA test compared with bladder washing cytology in patients with a history of transitional cell bladder cancer undergoing routine follow-up cystoscopy. Methods. During routine follow-up for transitional cell bladder cancer, 75 patients underwent cystoscopy, bladder washing cytology, and the Bard BTA test, a latex agglutination test that qualitatively detects basement membrane complexes in voided urine. From October 1994 to October 1995, a total of 104 Bard BTA test examinations were performed. The results of the Bard BTA test were compared with those attained with cystoscopy and bladder washing cytology. Results. Cystoscopy found tumors in 13 cases. The Bard BTA test was diagnostic in 7 (54%) cases; it was more sensitive than bladder washing cytology, which was positive in only 3 (23%) cases. However, the specificity of the Bard BTA was lower (9% clinically unconfirmed positive tests) than that attained with cytology. In 2 patients (2%) in whom the cystoscopy was negative, the Bard BTA test was predictive for a positive cystoscopy 3 and 5 months later. Conclusions. The Bard BTA test is a noninvasive test that may be an important addition to cystoscopy and cytology in the routine surveillance of patients with a history of transitional cell cancer of the bladder.
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