Objectives. To assess the effects of contrast material on the viability of transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) cells and the ability of such cells to attach to a recipient bed, because seeding of TCC into the upper urinary tract is a possibility during retrograde pyelography or percutaneous procedures.Methods. Primary cultures of TCC cells were established and placed in either quarter, half, or full-strength contrast for 10 minutes or one-quarter strength contrast for 10, 30, and 60 minutes. Cells were then removed from the contrast agent, resuspended in urothelium-specific media, and incubated for 5 days, after which the cells were counted.Results. A pronounced decrease in cell viability was observed with increasing exposure time and contrast material concentration. Cells incubated for 10, 30, and 60 minutes with contrast yielded an average of 79%, 60%, and 12% of the control group growth, respectively (P <0.001). Likewise, plates incubated with quarter, half, and full-strength contrast yielded 79%, 27%, and 10% of the control group growth, respectively (P <0.001). The difference in the response of low-grade superficial and high-grade invasive bladder tumors was not statistically significant.Conclusions. TCC cells that have been exposed to dilute contrast material for a short period are able to attach and grow on an adequate recipient bed. However, increasing the contrast concentration and/or the exposure time appears to decrease the viability and adherence of the TCC cells. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.
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