Non-visible haematuria (NVH)is a common finding and may indicate undiagnosed urological cancer. The optimal investigation of NVH is unclear, given the incidence of cancer and the public health implications of testing all individuals with this finding.
We review contemporary literature to determine the association of NVH with the diagnosis of bladder cancer (BC), upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC), and kidney cancer (KC).
A systematic review of original articles in English was completed in May 2019. Meta-analyses for the diagnostic accuracy of NVH and urine cytology were performed.
We screened 1529 articles and selected 78 manuscripts that fulfilled our inclusion criteria for narrative synthesis. Forty manuscripts were eligible for a metaanalysis (reporting 19 193 persons). The likelihood of a urological cancer in patients with NVH increased with age (<1% in those aged <40 yr), male sex, and cigarette smoking. Less than 1% of patients are found to have a urological cancer after a negative NVH evaluation. Cancer detection rates in individuals evaluated for NVH ranged from 0% to 16% for BC in 37 studies, 0% to 3.5% for UTUC in 30 studies, and 0% to 9.7% for KC in 29 studies. Substantial statistical heterogeneity was present for the meta-analysis of detection rates.
We present an up-to-date review of the association of NVH with the diagnosis of BC, UTUC, and KC. Individuals with dipstick positive haematuria aged ≥40 yr, who have had potential precipitating causes excluded, should undergo an evaluation. Re-evaluation of patients with unremarkable initial investigations should be performed in high-risk patients or if new symptoms occur.