Which histologic findings are characteristic of renal transitional cell carcinoma?

Updated: Nov 05, 2019
  • Author: Bagi RP Jana, MD, MBA, MHA, FACP; Chief Editor: E Jason Abel, MD  more...
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Most TCCs are papillary. They may be single or multiple. See image below.

Pathology specimen shows urothelial tumor of renal Pathology specimen shows urothelial tumor of renal pelvis (white arrows).

Flat carcinoma in situ (CIS) also may develop in the renal pelvis. CIS may be found in the distal ureter of 20-35% of patients who undergo cystectomy for bladder cancer. The presence of CIS warrants further resection of the ureter until a healthy ureteral segment is reached.

UCs can be characterized according to the degree of nuclear anaplasia. Low-grade tumors may have a thin fibrovascular core that is covered by several layers of cytologically benign urothelium, or they may be more broad-based, with hyperplastic urothelium. High-grade tumors usually are solid masses of large cells with irregular nuclei. Tumor grade is an important predictor of prognosis.

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