Tag Archive for: Maria Uloko


Residents’ podcast: Artificial intelligence applications in urology

Maria Uloko is a Urology Resident at the University of Minnesota Hospital. In this podcast she is joined by Dr Christopher Weight, an Associate Professor in the Department of Urology at the University of Minnesota. They are discussing a recent BJUI Article of the month:

Current status of artificial intelligence applications in urology and their potential to influence clinical practice



To investigate the applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in diagnosis, treatment and outcome prediction in urologic diseases and evaluate its advantages over traditional models and methods.

Materials and methods

A literature search was performed after PROSPERO registration (CRD42018103701) and in compliance with Preferred Reported Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‐Analyses (PRISMA) methods. Articles between 1994 and 2018 using the search terms “urology”, “artificial intelligence”, “machine learning” were included and categorized by the application of AI in urology. Review articles, editorial comments, articles with no full‐text access, and nonurologic studies were excluded.


Initial search yielded 231 articles, but after excluding duplicates and following full‐text review and examination of article references, only 111 articles were included in the final analysis. AI applications in urology include: utilizing radiomic imaging or ultrasonic echo data to improve or automate cancer detection or outcome prediction, utilizing digitized tissue specimen images to automate detection of cancer on pathology slides, and combining patient clinical data, biomarkers, or gene expression to assist disease diagnosis or outcome prediction. Some studies employed AI to plan brachytherapy and radiation treatments while others used video-based or robotic automated performance metrics to objectively evaluate surgical skill. Compared to conventional statistical analysis, 71.8% of studies concluded that AI is superior in diagnosis and outcome prediction.


AI has been widely adopted in urology. Compared to conventional statistics AI approaches are more accurate in prediction and more explorative for analyzing large data cohorts. With an increasing library of patient data accessible to clinicians, AI may help facilitate evidence‐based and individualized patient care.

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Dr Weight specializes in the surgical treatment of urologic cancers including prostate, bladder, kidney, adrenal, testis and penile cancer. He performs open, endoscopic, laparoscopic, robotic (da Vinci) and retroperineoscopic surgery.

Dr Weight completed his residency training at Cleveland Clinic where he received several awards including the George and Grace Crile Traveling Fellowship Award, the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons Resident Achievement Award and the ASCO Genitourinary Cancer Symposium Merit Award. Dr. Weight then completed a fellowship in Urologic Oncology at Mayo Clinic, where he also completed a Masters degree in Clinical and Translational Research from Mayo Graduate School and was awarded the Mayo Fellows Association Humanitarian Award.

Dr Weight believes that medical research is a key component to offering excellent patient care. His research is focused on improving patient outcomes and the use of artificial intelligence in different urologic applications. He is an author of more than 45 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and has been invited to speak at regional, national and international conferences. 

Resident’s podcast: Retzius‐sparing robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy

Maria Uloko is a Urology Resident at the University of Minnesota Hospital. In this podcast she discusses the following BJUI Article of the Week:

Retzius‐sparing robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy (RS‐RARP) vs standard RARP: it’s time for critical appraisal

Thomas Stonier*, Nick Simson*, John Davisand Ben Challacombe


*Department of Urology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, Urology Centre, Guy s Hospital, London, UK and Department of Urology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA



Since robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) started to be regularly performed in 2001, the procedure has typically followed the original retropubic approach, with incremental technical improvements in an attempt to improve outcomes. These include the running Van‐Velthoven anastomosis, posterior reconstruction or ‘Rocco stitch’, and cold ligation of the Santorini plexus/dorsal vein to maximise urethral length. In 2010, Bocciardi’s team in Milan proposed a novel posterior or ‘Retzius‐sparing’ RARP (RS‐RARP), mirroring the classic open perineal approach. This allows avoidance of supporting structures, such as the puboprostatic ligaments, endopelvic fascia, and Santorini plexus, preserving the normal anatomy as much as possible and limiting damage that may contribute to improved postoperative continence and erectile function. There has been much heralding of the excellent functional outcomes in both the medical and the lay press, but as yet no focus or real mention of any potential downsides of this new technique.


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Residents’ podcast: Urinary, bowel and sexual health in older men from Northern Ireland

Maria Uloko is a Urology Resident at the University of Minnesota Hospital and Giulia Lane is a Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Fellow at the University of Michigan.

In this podcast they discuss the following BJUI Article of the Week:

Urinary, bowel and sexual health in older men from Northern Ireland

David W. Donnelly*, Conan Donnelly†, Therese Kearney*, David Weller‡, Linda Sharp§, Amy Downing¶, Sarah Wilding¶, PennyWright¶, Paul Kind**, James W.F. Catto††, William R. Cross‡‡, Malcolm D. Mason§§, Eilis McCaughan¶¶, Richard Wagland***, Eila Watson†††, Rebecca Mottram¶, Majorie Allen, Hugh Butcher‡‡‡, Luke Hounsome§§§, Peter Selby, Dyfed Huws¶¶¶, David H. Brewster****, EmmaMcNair****, Carol Rivas††††, Johana Nayoan***, Mike Horton‡‡‡‡, Lauren Matheson†††, Adam W. Glaser and Anna Gavin*

*Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, Centre for Public Health, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK, †National Cancer Registry Ireland, Cork, Ireland, ‡Centre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK, §Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology/Leeds Institute of Data Analytics, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK, **Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK, ††Academic Urology Unit, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK, ‡‡Department of Urology, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds, UK, §§Division of Cancer and Genetics, School of Medicine, Velindre Hospital, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK, ¶¶Institute of Nursing and Health Research, Ulster University, Coleraine, UK, ***Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK, †††Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK, ‡‡‡Yorkshire Cancer Patient Forum, c/o Strategic Clinical Network and Senate, Yorkshire and The Humber, Harrogate, UK, §§§National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service, Public Health England, Bristol, UK, ¶¶¶Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Cardiff, UK, ****Information Services Division, NHS National Services Scotland, Edinburgh, UK, ††††Department of Social Science, UCL Institute of Education, University College London, London, UK, and ‡‡‡‡Psychometric Laboratory for Health Sciences, Academic Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK



To provide data on the prevalence of urinary, bowel and sexual dysfunction in Northern Ireland (NI), to act as a baseline for studies of prostate cancer outcomes and to aid service provision within the general population.

Subjects and Methods

A cross‐sectional postal survey of 10 000 men aged ≥40 years in NI was conducted and age‐matched to the distribution of men living with prostate cancer. The EuroQoL five Dimensions five Levels (EQ‐5D‐5L) and 26‐item Expanded Prostate Cancer Composite (EPIC‐26) instruments were used to enable comparisons with prostate cancer outcome studies. Whilst representative of the prostate cancer survivor population, the age‐distribution of the sample differs from the general population, thus data were generalised to the NI population by excluding those aged 40–59 years and applying survey weights. Results are presented as proportions reporting problems along with mean composite scores, with differences by respondent characteristics assessed using chi‐squared tests, analysis of variance, and multivariable log‐linear regression.


Amongst men aged ≥60 years, 32.8% reported sexual dysfunction, 9.3% urinary dysfunction, and 6.5% bowel dysfunction. In all, 38.1% reported at least one problem and 2.1% all three. Worse outcome was associated with increasing number of long‐term conditions, low physical activity, and higher body mass index (BMI). Urinary incontinence, urinary irritation/obstruction, and sexual dysfunction increased with age; whilst urinary incontinence, bowel, and sexual dysfunction were more common among the unemployed.


These data provide an insight into sensitive issues seldom reported by elderly men, which result in poor general health, but could be addressed given adequate service provision. The relationship between these problems, raised BMI and low physical activity offers the prospect of additional health gain by addressing public health issues such as obesity. The results provide essential contemporary population data against which outcomes for those living with prostate cancer can be compared. They will facilitate greater understanding of the true impact of specific treatments such as surgical interventions, pelvic radiation or androgen‐deprivation therapy.


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Residents’ Podcast: UK‐ROPE Study

Maria Uloko is a Urology Resident at the University of Minnesota Hospital and Giulia Lane is a Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Fellow at the University of Michigan

In this podcast they discuss the BJUI Article of the Month ‘Efficacy and safety of prostate artery embolization for benign prostatic hyperplasia: an observational study and propensity‐matched comparison with transurethral resection of the prostate (the UK‐ROPE study)’


Efficacy and safety of prostate artery embolization for benign prostatic hyperplasia: an observational study and propensity‐matched comparison with transurethral resection of the prostate (the UK‐ROPE study)


Alistair F. Ray*, John Powell†‡, Mark J. Speakman§, Nicholas T. LongfordRanan DasGupta**, Timothy Bryant††, Sachin Modi††, Jonathan Dyer‡‡, Mark Harris‡‡Grace Carolan-Rees* and Nigel Hacking††


*Cedar, Cardiff University/Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff, Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, London, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, §Department of Urology, Taunton and Somerset NHS Trust, Taunton, SNTL Statistics Research and Consulting, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, **Department of Urology, St. MaryHospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, ††Department of Interventional Radiology, and ‡‡Department of Urology, Southampton General Hospital, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK




To assess the efficacy and safety of prostate artery embolization (PAE) for lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and to conduct an indirect comparison of PAE with transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).

Patients and Methods

As a joint initiative between the British Society of Interventional Radiologists, the British Association of Urological Surgeons and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, we conducted the UK Register of Prostate Embolization (UK‐ROPE) study, which recruited 305 patients across 17 UK urological/interventional radiology centres, 216 of whom underwent PAE and 89 of whom underwent TURP. The primary outcomes were International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) improvement in the PAE group at 12 months post‐procedure, and complication data post‐PAE. We also aimed to compare IPSS score improvements between the PAE and TURP groups, using non‐inferiority analysis on propensity‐score‐matched patient pairs. The clinical results and urological measurements were performed at clinical sites. IPSS and other questionnaire‐based results were mailed by patients directly to the trial unit managing the study. All data were uploaded centrally to the UK‐ROPE study database.


The results showed that PAE was clinically effective, producing a median 10‐point IPSS improvement from baseline at 12 months post‐procedure. PAE did not appear to be as effective as TURP, which produced a median 15‐point IPSS score improvement at 12 months post‐procedure. These findings are further supported by the propensity score analysis, in which we formed 65 closely matched pairs of patients who underwent PAE and patients who underwent TURP. In terms of IPSS and quality‐of‐life (QoL) improvement, there was no evidence of PAE being non‐inferior to TURP. Patients in the PAE group had a statistically significant improvement in maximum urinary flow rate and prostate volume reduction at 12 months post‐procedure. PAE had a reoperation rate of 5% before 12 months and 15% after 12 months (20% total rate), and a low complication rate. Of 216 patients, one had sepsis, one required a blood transfusion, four had local arterial dissection and four had a groin haematoma. Two patients had non‐target embolization that presented as self‐limiting penile ulcers. Additional patient‐reported outcomes, pain levels and return to normal activities were very encouraging for PAE. Seventy‐one percent of PAE cases were performed as outpatient or day cases. In contrast, 80% of TURP cases required at least 1 night of hospital stay, and the majority required 2 nights.


Our results indicate that PAE provides a clinically and statistically significant improvement in symptoms and QoL, although some of these improvements were greater in the TURP arm. The safety profile and quicker return to normal activities may be seen as highly beneficial by patients considering PAE as an alternative treatment to TURP, with the concomitant advantages of reduced length of hospital stay and need for admission after PAE. PAE is an advanced embolization technique demanding a high level of expertise, and should be performed by experienced interventional radiologists who have been trained and proctored appropriately. The use of cone‐beam computed tomography is encouraged to improve operator confidence and minimize non‐target embolizations. The place of PAE in the care pathway is between that of drugs and surgery, allowing the clinician to tailor treatment to individual patients’ symptoms, requirements and anatomical variation.

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