Atypical/malignant urothelial cells in routine urinary sediment: Worth knowing and reporting

G. B. Fogazzi, F. Pallotti, G. Garigali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Urinary cytology (Ucytol), which is performed in pathology laboratories on fixed and stained samples, represents the gold standard for the identification of atypical/malignant urothelial cells (A/MUC) due to urothelial carcinoma. In this paper we describe three patients in whom A/MUC, due to a bladder carcinoma, were identified with conventional urine sediment (Used) examination on unfixed and unstained samples. Methods: Included are urine samples prepared with conventional and standardized techniques as currently used in general clinical laboratories. Samples were examined with phase contrast microscopy. A/MUC were identified according to the criteria currently used for Ucytol. Results: A/MUC (i.e., cells with unusual and pleomorphic size and shape, increased nuclear/cytoplasmic ratio, increased number of nuclei, irregular nuclear borders and irregular chromatin patterns, either isolated or in clusters) were identified in the urine of three patients, all of whom were found to have bladder carcinoma by cystoscopy. Conclusions: At variance with the common and widespread view, A/MUC can also be identified with conventional Used examination, even though Ucytol still represents the gold standard method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-111
Number of pages5
JournalClinica Chimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - Oct 17 2014


  • Atypical/malignant urothelial cells
  • Bladder carcinoma
  • Phase contrast microscopy
  • Urinary sediment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Medicine(all)


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