Plasmacytoid transitional cell carcinoma of urinary bladder: A clinicopathologic study of 9 cases

Jae Y. Ro, Steven S. Shen, Hyang I. Lee, Eun K. Hong, Yoon H. Lee, Nam H. Cho, Soo J. Jung, Yeong J. Choi, Alberto G. Ayala

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73 Scopus citations


In this report, we summarized the clinicopathologic features of 9 cases of plasmacytoid transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the urinary bladder, a rare variant of TCC. All 9 patients were men with a mean of age 64.3 years (range, 46 to 81 y). All but 1 patient presented with gross hematuria; the remaining patient had urgency and microscopic hematuria. Cystoscopic findings revealed a dominant solid mass with surrounding multiple papillary lesions in 6 cases and multiple masslike lesions in 3 other cases. The initial diagnosis of plasmacytoid TCC was made on transurethral resection in 8 cases and cystoscopic biopsy in 1. One patient had TNM stage I disease, 2 had stage II disease, 3 had stage III disease, and 3 had stage IV disease. Four patients were treated by radical cystectomy with chemotherapy, 2 by radical cystectomy alone, 1 each by chemotherapy or intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guerin infusion alone, and 1 did not receive any further therapy. Microscopically, all tumors contained plasmacytoid cells, which composed 30% to 100% of the entire tumor. Eight of 9 cases were associated with high-grade TCC, and transitional cell carcinoma in situ was present in 4 cases. The plasmacytoid tumor cells were characterized by eccentrically located nuclei and abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm. Interestingly, plasmacytoid transitional cell carcinoma in situ was noted in 1 case. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that both plasmacytoid and conventional TCC components were positive for cytokeratins 7 and 20. The mean Ki-67 labeling index was 30% (range, 10% to 50%), and p53 expression in the majority of cases was low (5% to 10%), except for in 2 cases (70% and 80%). The mean follow-up in 8 patients was 24.5 months (range, 5 to 47 mo); the other patient was lost to follow-up. Five patients died of disease from 5 to 36 months, 2 patients were alive with disease at 30 and 47 months, and 1 patient was alive and well at 36 months with no evidence of disease. In summary, plasmacytoid TCC tends to present at an advanced stage and to have a poor prognosis. Morphologic recognition and distinction from other plasmacytoid malignant neoplasms is critical for its clinical management and immunohistochemical studies may be required for differential diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)752-757
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Plasmacytoid
  • Transitional cell carcinoma
  • Urothelial neoplasm
  • Variant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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