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Advances in Urology
Volume 2011, Article ID 217153, 5 pages
Review Article

Micropapillary Variant of Urothelial Carcinoma

1Department of Pathology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul 135-710, Republic of Korea
2Department of Pathology, The Methodist Hospital, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Houston, TX 77030, USA
3Department of Pathology, National Cancer Center, Gyeonggi-do 410-769, Republic of Korea

Received 13 June 2011; Accepted 9 August 2011

Academic Editor: Peter E. Clark

Copyright © 2011 Ghee Young Kwon and Jae Y. Ro. 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.


Micropapillary carcinoma (MPC) of urinary tract is an uncommon variant of urothelial carcinoma with significant diagnostic and prognostic implications. Though MPC shows characteristic microscopic features, there exists interobserver variability and also it needs to be differentiated from the metastasis from other organs. The prognosis is generally poor, depending on the proportion of the micropapillary component in some reports. Early cystectomy in cases with only lamina propria invasion may be indicated according to recent studies. This review outlines the general features of this entity and briefly comments on the controversies and the recent development.