Urine cytology of primary and secondary urinary bladder adenocarcinoma

Ricardo H. Bardales, Martha B. Pitman, Michael W. Stanley, Soheila Korourian, Mark J. Suhrland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Primary and secondary adenocarcinomas of the urinary bladder are uncommon, and the urine cytology of these tumors has rarely been described. Familiarity with the cytomorphology of these neoplasms may facilitate their detection in urine cytology specimens. METHODS. The authors reviewed 46 urine samples (19 voided, 19 instrumented, and 8 bladder washings) from 41 patients with biopsy-proven primary urinary bladder adenocarcinoma (n = 11) or metastatic adenocarcinoma (n = 35) from the prostate (n = 17), colon (n = 10), breast (n = 3), kidney (n = 3), or uterus (n = 1), or from unknown origin (n = 1). Cytomorphology, the role of cytology, and causes for negative diagnoses were evaluated. RESULTS. Cytologic diagnoses of malignancy, adenocarcinoma not otherwise specified, and adenocarcinoma of a specific type were given in 87%, 28%, and 39% of cases, respectively. Columnar cells, coarse chromatin, and necrosis were found in adenocarcinoma of the colon. Syncytial and acinar arrangements, round or oval nuclei, vesicular chromatin, and prominent nucleoli were commonly found in adenocarcinoma of the prostate. These features permitted us to make a specific diagnosis in 90% of cases of adenocarcinoma of the colon and 41% of cases of adenocarcinoma of the prostate. Cytologic examination failed to lead to a diagnosis of malignancy in 18% of primary adenocarcinoma cases. CONCLUSIONS. A large number of adenocarcinomas of the colon and prostate have sufficient cytologic features to suggest the correct diagnosis in urine samples. The cytomorphology of primary bladder adenocarcinoma is not as easily characterized. The submucosal nature of some metastatic deposits and tumor differentiation influence the diagnostic accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-343
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 25 1998


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Breast carcinoma
  • Colon carcinoma
  • Cytology
  • Prostate carcinoma
  • Renal carcinoma
  • Urinary bladder
  • Urine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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