The pagetoid variant of urothelial carcinoma in situ of urinary bladder in a cow

G. Borzacchiello, V. Ambrosio, P. Galati, F. Poggiali, A. Venuti, F. Roperto

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A case of urothelial carcinoma in situ of urinary bladder is reported in a 10-year-old cow naturally grazing on bracken-infested land. The cow suffered from enzootic hematuria for more than 5 years. The presence of bovine papillomavirus type 2 (BPV-2) DNA sequences was detected by polymerase chain reaction. The carcinoma in situ was characterized by the presence of anaplastic cells with amphophilic cytoplasm and pleomorphic nuclei containing granular, irregularly dispersed chromatin. Focal areas within the tumor contained large isolated and/or clustered cells. These cells had pale acidophilic cytoplasm, large nuclei with single or multiple nucleoli, and well-defined borders resembling Paget's cells. Immunohistochemically, all malignant cells were negative for vimentin and S-100 and positive for cytokeratins. In addition, normal and neoplastic cells expressed fragile histidine triad (FHIT) protein; surprisingly, some pagetoid cells did not. FHIT, the tumor suppressor gene at 3p14.2, encodes a protein of 147 amino acids (16.8 kd) with diadenosine triphosphate hydrolase activity and is a common target of deletions in human cancers of epithelial origin. Antibody to laminin detected a continuous epithelial basement membrane, thus clearly showing that neoplastic changes were limited to urothelial cells without invading stromal tissue. To our knowledge, this is the first report of an unusual pattern of spread of urothelial carcinoma in situ in a cow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-116
Number of pages4
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Bracken fern
  • Carcinoma in situ
  • Cows
  • Enzootic hematuria
  • Urinary bladder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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