Urothelial Carcinoma and its Variants

Cristina Magi-Galluzzi, Sara M. Falzarano, Ming Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Bladder cancer is the ninth most common cancer worldwide, and the most common malignancy affecting the urinary tract, with approximately 330,000 new cases and more than 130,000 deaths per year. Bladder cancer is primarily attributable to smoking, which accounts for 65% of male and 30% of female cases in some developed countries. Other major risk factors include analgesic abuse, some types of chemotherapy, occupational exposure to chemicals, and in Egypt and some Asian regions, endemic infection with Schistosoma haematobium. Approximately 90% of bladder tumors are classified as urothelial carcinoma (UC), also referred to as transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), and are believed to originate from transformation of the normal urothelium. UCs often exhibit elements of squamous or glandular differentiation. The spectrum of microscopic forms of urothelial carcinoma has been expanded recently to include several histologic variants, the recognition of which is important to avoid diagnostic misinterpretation, to predict outcome, and to guide the selection of the most appropriate therapeutic approach. This article reviews characteristic pathologic features and key clinical aspects of UC and its most common variants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-209
Number of pages51
JournalSurgical Pathology Clinics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Histologic variants
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment
  • Urothelial carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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