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Advances in Urology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 654751, 7 pages
Review Article

Microcystic Variant of Urothelial Carcinoma

North Manchester General Hospital, Department of Urology, Delaunays Road, Manchester, UK

Received 26 July 2013; Revised 24 September 2013; Accepted 27 September 2013

Academic Editor: Matthew Nielsen

Copyright © 2013 Anthony Kodzo-Grey Venyo. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Microcystic variant of urothelial carcinoma is one of the new variants of urothelial carcinoma that was added to the WHO classification in 2004. Aims. To review the literature on microcystic variant of urothelial carcinoma. Methods. Various internet search engines were used to identify reported cases of the tumour. Results. Microscopic features of the tumour include: (i) Conspicuous intracellular and intercellular lumina/microcysts encompassed by malignant urothelial or squamous cells. (ii) The lumina are usually empty; may contain granular eosinophilic debris, mucin, or necrotic cells. (iii) The cysts may be variable in size; round, or oval, up to 2 mm; lined by urothelium which are either flattened cells or low columnar cells however, they do not contain colonic epithelium or goblet cells; are infiltrative; invade the muscularis propria; mimic cystitis cystica and cystitis glandularis; occasionally exhibit neuroendocrine differentiation. (iv) Elongated and irregular branching spaces are usually seen. About 17 cases of the tumour have been reported with only 2 patients who have survived. The tumour tends to be of high-grade and high-stage. There is no consensus opinion on the best option of treatment of the tumour. Conclusions. It would prove difficult at the moment to be dogmatic regarding its prognosis but it is a highly aggressive tumour. New cases of the tumour should be reported in order to document its biological behaviour.