This is a randomized controlled trial of vaginal estrogen cream for postmenopausal women with microscopic hematuria (AMH). Potential subjects will be screened with a dipstick urinalysis of a catheterized urine specimen, followed by microscopic urinalysis and urine culture if urine dipstick is positive for trace blood or greater. Women who are identified as having asymptomatic microscopic hematuria (>3 red blood cells (RBC) per high powered field (hpf)) on a single urine microscopy specimen in the absence of urinary tract infection or other benign cause will be eligible for enrollment.
Women meeting inclusion criteria will be randomized to either conjugated equine estrogen cream (Premarin, 0.625mg conjugated estrogens) or placebo cream for 8 weeks. Microscopic urinalysis of a catheterized urine specimen will be re-checked at 8 weeks to check for reduction, resolution or persistence of AMH. During the 8 weeks of vaginal estrogen or placebo, women will complete the recommended AMH workup as dictated by the American Urologic Association (AUA) guidelines (cystourethroscopy, serum blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels, and computed tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen and pelvis with and without intravenous contrast).1
Validated questionnaires to assess vaginal atrophy and symptoms of urinary urgency and frequency will be completed at time of randomization and again at 8 weeks. Cost analysis of the standard AMH workup (cystourethroscopy and CT scan) versus empiric treatment with 8 weeks of vaginal estrogen cream will be calculated based on Medicare reimbursement, as well as market price for vaginal estrogen cream Additionally, patients will be asked to complete a questionnaire to assess the level of bother associated with completing the current AMH workup of CT scan and cystoscopy as compared to completing a treatment course of vaginal estrogen cream.
Secondary analyses will determine whether there are additional benefits to a trial period of vaginal estrogen cream in postmenopausal women with AMH prior to reflexively screening for urinary tract abnormalities. We will compare the cost of a standard AMH workup to a treatment course of vaginal estrogen cream, to determine whether vaginal estrogen with potential resolution of AMH is associated with any savings prior to pursuing further workup. Additionally, questionnaires will ask study participants whether they would prefer to undergo the current AUA AMH workup or a treatment course of vaginal cream, in order to assess bother and anxiety associated with these interventions.