Home | About CytoJournalEditorial Board | Archived articles | Search CytoJ Articles | Subscribe | Peer review policies | CytoJournal Quiz Cases
  Reviewer corner | Author corner | OA Steward’s corner | CF member’s corner | Join as CF member | Manuscript submission | Open Access (OA) Advocacy
CytoJournal All 'FULL TEXT' in HTML are FREE under "open access" charter of CytoJournal.
To login for downloading any PDF OR to request TOC (Table of Content) by e-mail, please click here
Home Email this page Print this page Small font size Default font size Increase font size Cytopathology Foundation
Navigate here
Resource links
 »  Similar in PUBMED
 »  Search Pubmed for
 »  Search in Google Scholar for
 »  Article in PDF (1,744 KB)
 »  Citation Manager
 »  Access Statistics
 »  Reader Comments
 »  Email Alert *
 »  Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
 » Answer
 »  Additional quiz ...
 »  Brief review of ...
 »  Competing intere...
 »  Authorship state...
 »  Ethics statement...
 »  List of abbrevia...
 »  What is your int...
 »  References
 »  Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded263    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


Browse articles
CytoJournal 2015,  12:16

Urine cytology: Pitfall due to a "remnant" lesion

1 525 East 68th Street, Room F-766, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center, Papanicolaou Cytology Laboratory, New York, NY 10065, USA
2 Department of Pathology, New York Hospital Queens, Flushing, NY 11355, USA

Date of Submission05-Jun-2015
Date of Acceptance07-Jun-2015
Date of Web Publication28-Jul-2015

Correspondence Address:
Tamar Giorgadze
525 East 68th Street, Room F-766, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center, Papanicolaou Cytology Laboratory, New York, NY 10065
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1742-6413.161604

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Chaump M, Giorgadze T, Schreiner AM. Urine cytology: Pitfall due to a "remnant" lesion. CytoJournal 2015;12:16

How to cite this URL:
Chaump M, Giorgadze T, Schreiner AM. Urine cytology: Pitfall due to a "remnant" lesion. CytoJournal [serial online] 2015 [cited 2019 Dec 14];12:16. Available from: http://www.cytojournal.com/text.asp?2015/12/1/16/161604

A 36-year-old G0 P0 woman presented with complaints of increased urinary frequency and nocturia. She did not report incontinence, dysuria, gross hematuria, or other medical history. Radiologic evaluation showed 2.6 cm irregular, solid and cystic lesion in the superior wall of the bladder, located immediately right of the midline. Cytopathologic findings in voided urine were as shown in [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Voided urine cytology in a liquid based (ThinPrep) preparation. (a) Large cohesive sheet of glandular epithelium with ragged outline (ThinPrep, Papanicolaou stain, ×100). (b) Strip of benign glandular cells exhibiting eccentric nuclei with retained nuclear polarity (ThinPrep, Papanicolaou stain, ×600). (c) Sheet of glandular epithelium with scant to moderate amount of cytoplasm and round to oval nuclei (ThinPrep, Papanicolaou stain, ×400). (d) Group of cells with granular cytoplasm, fine chromatin, and inconspicuous nucleoli (ThinPrep, Papanicolaou stain, ×600)

Click here to view

 » What is your interpretation? Top

  1. Cystitis cystica et glandularis
  2. Endometriosis involving the bladder
  3. Urachal remnant
  4. Adenocarcinoma.

Click here to view answer. View Answer

 » Additional quiz questions Top

1. In the fetus, the urachus is a remnant of the connection between the:

  1. Median umbilical ligament and allantois
  2. Allantois and yolk sac
  3. Fetal bladder and the umbilical cord
  4. Umbilical cord and yolk sac
  5. None of the above.

2. The epithelium of the inner urachal layer is:

  1. Urothelial
  2. Columnar
  3. Squamous
  4. A and B
  5. B and C.

3. Cytological features of urachal remnants in urine cytology include:

  1. Sheets of cells comprised of bland glandular cells
  2. Strips and clusters of bland glandular cells with polarized, eccentric nuclei
  3. Smooth nuclear contours with stippled chromatin and inconspicuous nucleoli
  4. Glandular cells with granular cytoplasm
  5. All of the above.

Answers to additional quiz questions

1. C; 2. D; 3. E

  1. During fetal development, the fetal bladder and the umbilical cord is connected by the allantois. During development, the bladder descends and the urachal lumen constricts to form the median umbilical ligament. The urachus may persist as a remnant if this process is incomplete
  2. Pathological examination is necessary for a diagnosis of the urachal remnant. As described histologically, the urachal remnant has an inner epithelial layer, middle fibroconnective tissue layer, and the outer smooth muscle layer. The lining can be urothelial or columnar epithelium
  3. Cytological features of urachal remnants include sheets, strips, and clusters of bland appearing glandular cells. These cells have scant to moderate amount of cytoplasm and round to oval nuclei. The nuclear features are also benign appearing with smooth contours, slightly stippled fine chromatin, and inconspicuous nucleoli. Because this is a benign entity, mitotic figures, and apoptotic bodies should not be present.

 » Brief review of the topic Top

The patient underwent a transurethral resection of the posterior superior bladder wall lesion. The histological examination showed a cystic lesion that involved the bladder lamina propria and muscularis propria. The cyst was lined by stratified cuboidal epithelium without significant cytological atypia or mitoses. The underlying stroma was congested. Also seen were ductal structures lined by cuboidal epithelium sorrounded by muscular walls that were in continuity with the detrusor muscle, consistent with a urachal remnant [Figure 3].
Figure 3: Histology from the transurethral resection of the posterior superior bladder wall lesion. (a) Cyst involving bladder lamina propria and muscularis propria (H and E, ×100). (b) Cyst lining composed of stratified cuboidal epithelium (H and E, ×400). (c) Ductal structure with a muscular wall in continuity with the detrusor muscle (H and E, ×200). (d) Duct lining composed of cuboidal epithelium (H and E, ×600)

Click here to view

Urachal remnants overall are not a common fining in urine cytology. Whereas the radiological and pathological differential diagnosis is broad attention to cytological details can provide a definitive diagnosis.

Cytomorphological features of urachal remnants that can be seen in liquid-based preparation of urine specimens include the following:

  • Sheets or clusters comprised of varying numbers of bland appearing cells with scant to moderate amounts of cytoplasm
  • Strips of columnar cells with eccentric, polarized nuclei
  • Benign appearing nuclei with smooth nuclear contours, finely stippled chromatin, and inconspicuous nucleoli.

Overall, cytological features of urachal remnants in urine cytology may mimic many benign and malignant conditions involving the bladder. High index of suspicion, bland cytology of the glandular epithelial fragments, and clinical-radiological correlation will be helpful in distinguishing this entity from malignant processes and arriving at the correct diagnosis.

Surgical intervention is recommended when a persistent urachus is identified to avoid symptomatic recurrence and complications. Whereas an open procedure has been classically described, laparoscopic approaches to resection offers lower morbidity and mortality.

Focused differential diagnosis of urachal remnants

Cystitis cystica/glandularis

  • Can mimic a mucinous cystic tumor or bladder tumor radiologically [13]
  • Cytomorphological identification relies on the presence of cuboidal or columnar mucin-secreting cells which can also be of intestinal-type [14]
  • Significant atypia and mitoses are only rarely found which also differentiates them from adenocarcinoma [15]
  • Epithelium identified is usually distinguishable from the transitional epithelium seen with urachal remnants. However, both entities may cytologically appear similar if the urachal remnant is lined by columnar epithelium.

Endometriosis involving the urinary tract

  • Not a common entity, occurring in approximately 1% of all patients with endometriosis
  • Most frequent site of occurrence in the dome of the bladder [16]
  • Cytomorphological analysis of urine will often show hemosiderin laden macrophages or the presence of endometrial cells
  • Endometrial cells are identified as honeycombing sheets or as spherules with clusters of stromal cells surrounded by epithelial cells [17]
  • Usually, no nuclear atypia is observed and nucleoli are inconspicuous.

Müllerianosis of the urinary bladder

  • Rare lesion that has not been frequently reported in the literature
  • Grossly it appears as a polypoid or cystic mass with dark blue or black cysts on cystoscopy
  • Cytomorphological features resemble endosalpingiosis, endometriosis or endocervicosis. [18],[19]

Nephrogenic metaplasia/adenoma

  • Often the diagnosis is preceded by a history of instrumentation or chronic inflammatory insult [20]
  • In liquid-based preparations of urine specimens, variably sized cell clusters and papillary structures are evident
  • Cytomorphological analysis shows atypical cuboidal cells with a moderate amount of cytoplasm. The nuclei may be round to slightly irregular with granular chromatin and small nucleoli
  • Cytoplasmic vacuoles can be present which may give the cells a signet-ring appearance. [21],[22]

Adenocarcinoma of the bladder (including primary bladder adenocarcinoma, urachal adenocarcinoma, and metastatic carcinoma)

Adenocarcinoma of the bladder

  • Adenocarcinomas of the bladder or urothelial carcinomas with glandular differentiation are rare in young patients, as are metastatic adenocarcinomas. Histologically, the majority of bladder adenocarcinoma is comprised of glandular structures showing features of colonic adenocarcinoma (enteric type), intracellular mucin (signet cell type), or extracellular mucin (mucinous type)
  • Cytomorphological analysis of urine cytology will show glandular cells with cytological atypia and frequent mitoses
  • In half of the cases of urothelial carcinoma with glandular differentiation, a second population of malignant cells with morphology consistent with high-grade urothelial carcinoma will be present
  • Adenocarcinomas (as well as rarer types of carcinomas) have been described as arising in urachal remnants. [23] In these cases, cytological features of adenocarcinomas arising in urachal remnants are similar to the other primary and secondary adenocarcinomas that can be encountered in the bladder. [24]

 » Competing interests statement by all authors Top

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

 » Authorship statement by all authors Top

All authors of this article declare that we qualify for authorship as defined by ICMJE http://www.icmje.org/#author.

Each author has participated sufficiently in the work and takes public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content of this article.

 » Ethics statement by all authors Top

As this is a quiz case without identifiers, our institution does not require approval from Institutional Review Board (IRB) (or its equivalent).

 » List of abbreviations Top

MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging

IRB - Institutional Review Board.

 » References Top

Copp HL, Wong IY, Krishnan C, Malhotra S, Kennedy WA. Clinical presentation and urachal remnant pathology: Implications for treatment. J Urol 2009;182 4 Suppl: 1921-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
Ueno T, Hashimoto H, Yokoyama H, Ito M, Kouda K, Kanamaru H. Urachal anomalies: Ultrasonography and management. J Pediatr Surg 2003;38:1203-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
Li Destri G, Schillaci D, Latino R, Castaing M, Scilletta B, Cataldo AD. The urachal pathology with umbilical manifestation: Overview of laparoscopic technique. J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A 2011;21:809-14.  Back to cited text no. 3
Naiditch JA, Radhakrishnan J, Chin AC. Current diagnosis and management of urachal remnants. J Pediatr Surg 2013;48:2148-52.  Back to cited text no. 4
Ozbek SS, Pourbagher MA, Pourbagher A. Urachal remnants in asymptomatic children: Gray-scale and color Doppler sonographic findings. J Clin Ultrasound 2001;29:218-22.  Back to cited text no. 5
Schubert GE, Pavkovic MB, Bethke-Bedürftig BA. Tubular urachal remnants in adult bladders. J Urol 1982;127:40-2.  Back to cited text no. 6
Marella VK, Hakimian O, Wise GJ, Silver DA. Pelvic actinomycosis. Urologic perspective. Int Braz J Urol 2004;30:367-76.  Back to cited text no. 7
Siow SL, Mahendran HA, Hardin M. Laparoscopic management of symptomatic urachal remnants in adulthood. Asian J Surg 2015;38:85-90.  Back to cited text no. 8
Pust A, Ovenbeck R, Erbersdobler A, Dieckmann KP. Laparoscopic management of patent urachus in an adult man. Urol Int 2007;79:184-6.  Back to cited text no. 9
Cutting CW, Hindley RG, Poulsen J. Laparoscopic management of complicated urachal remnants. BJU Int 2005;96:1417-21.  Back to cited text no. 10
Cadeddu JA, Boyle KE, Fabrizio MD, Schulam PG, Kavoussi LR. Laparoscopic management of urachal cysts in adulthood. J Urol 2000;164:1526-8.  Back to cited text no. 11
Rodrigues JC, Gandhi S. Don′t get caught out! A rare case of a calcified urachal remnant mimicking a bladder calculus. J Radiol Case Rep 2013;7:34-8.  Back to cited text no. 12
Dohan A, Ferlicot S, Bessède T, Soyer P, Rocher L. Low-grade mucinous cystic tumor mimicking urinary bladder tumor: Imaging-pathologic correlation. Urology 2013;81:e33-4.  Back to cited text no. 13
Rau AR, Kini H, Pai RR. Morphological evaluation of cystitis glandularis. Indian J Pathol Microbiol 2009;52:203-5.  Back to cited text no. 14
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Pantanowitz L, Otis CN. Cystitis glandularis. Diagn Cytopathol 2008;36:181-2.  Back to cited text no. 15
Schneider A, Touloupidis S, Papatsoris AG, Triantafyllidis A, Kollias A, Schweppe KW. Endometriosis of the urinary tract in women of reproductive age. Int J Urol 2006;13:902-4.  Back to cited text no. 16
Arava S, Iyer VK, Mathur SR. Cytological diagnosis of peritoneal endometriosis. J Cytol 2010;27:77-8.  Back to cited text no. 17
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Guan H, Rosenthal DL, Erozan YS. Mullerianosis of the urinary bladder: Report of a case with diagnosis suggested in urine cytology and review of literature. Diagn Cytopathol 2012;40:997-1001.  Back to cited text no. 18
Branca G, Barresi V. Müllerianosis of the urinary bladder: A rare tumorlike lesion. Arch Pathol Lab Med 2014;138:432-6.  Back to cited text no. 19
Harik LR, O′Toole KM. Nonneoplastic lesions of the prostate and bladder. Arch Pathol Lab Med 2012;136:721-34.  Back to cited text no. 20
Amin W, Parwani AV. Nephrogenic adenoma. Pathol Res Pract 2010;206:659-62.  Back to cited text no. 21
Lee A, Baloch Z. Cytology of nephrogenic adenoma. Diagn Cytopathol 1999;20:321-2.  Back to cited text no. 22
Paner GP, Barkan GA, Mehta V, Sirintrapun SJ, Tsuzuki T, Sebo TJ, et al. Urachal carcinomas of the nonglandular type: Salient features and considerations in pathologic diagnosis. Am J Surg Pathol 2012;36:432-42.  Back to cited text no. 23
Okumura S, Nishimura T, Hasegawa J, Kanamori S, Abe H, Akimoto M. Carcinoma of urachus: Report of 3 cases and review of literature. Hinyokika Kiyo 1984;30:1255-61.  Back to cited text no. 24


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]


Previous article Next article


  Site Map | Copyright and Disclaimer
© 2007 - CytoJournal | A journal by Cytopathology Foundation Inc with Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
New version online since 1st July '08
Open Access