Objectives: Endemic nephropathy (EN) is a chronic tubulointerstitial renal disease associated with increased incidence of upper urinary tract urothelial cancer (UTUC) occurring predominantly in geographically limited areas in villages along big Danube river. Based on results obtained by the research it is confirmed that aristolochic acid is causative agent of endemic nephropathy (EN). Aim: The aim of this study was to determine characteristics of UTUC in two endemic areas and analyze trends in 5-year period. Methods: This study included all patients with UTUC with or without synchronous/metachronous urothelial cancer in urinary bladder, from Croatian and Bosnian EN and non-EN regions. We analyzed archival data bases from all patients with UTUC who were admitted and operated in Department for surgery and urology, General Hospital Josip Bencevic Slavonski Brod in the time period between 2005 and 2010. Analyzed groups of patients were divided and compared as EN group (that includes patients from Croatian and Bosnian EN region) and non-EN group (that includes patients from Croatian and Bosnian non-EN region). All surgical specimens were processed according to standardized pathological procedures. Results: Comparing patients basic characteristics from Croatian and Bosnian EN region there was no significant difference in gender (females were more frequently affected in both EN regions, p=0.99) or age (p=0.43) of patients. We found higher blood levels of urea and creatinine in group of patients from Croatian EN region when compared with group of patients from Bosnian EN region but the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.79 and p=0.44, respectively). In patients from Croatian EN group Hemoglobin levels were significantly lower than levels from Bosnian EN region patients, p=0.0049. In group of patients from Bosnian EN region ureteral tumors were more frequently observed than in Croatian group of patients, when compared with renal pelvis tumors but the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.258). Conclusion: Our data showed some differences in tumor localization between to investigated, relatively nearly situated, EN regions in Croatia and Bosnia. Statistically significant difference in hemoglobin levels between Croatian and Bosnian EN regions that should be further analyzed to give some reasonable explanation.
endemic nephropathy, urinary tract, urothelial cancer, Croatia, Bosnia, regions