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 (1,168 KB)
 »  Citation Manager
 »  Access Statistics
 »  Reader Comments
 »  Email Alert *
 »  Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
 »  Q1: What is Your...
 » Answer 1
 » Additional Question
 » Answer 2
 » Discussion
 »  Summary and Conc...
 »  Competing Intere...
 »  Authorship State...
 »  Ethics Statement...
 »  List of Abbrevia...
 »  Editorial/Peer-R...
 »  References
 »  Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded1    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


Browse articles
CytoJournal 2018,  15:30

Cytology of achylous hematuria: A clue to an underlying uncommon clinical scenario

Department of Pathology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi, India

Date of Submission11-Mar-2018
Date of Acceptance07-Jun-2018
Date of Web Publication24-Dec-2018

Correspondence Address:
Vijay Kumar
Department of Pathology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cytojournal.cytojournal_11_18

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Kishore M, Kumar V, Kaushal M, Gomber A. Cytology of achylous hematuria: A clue to an underlying uncommon clinical scenario. CytoJournal 2018;15:30

How to cite this URL:
Kishore M, Kumar V, Kaushal M, Gomber A. Cytology of achylous hematuria: A clue to an underlying uncommon clinical scenario. CytoJournal [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Dec 14];15:30. Available from: http://www.cytojournal.com/text.asp?2018/15/1/30/248405

Editorial/Peer Review Statement
To ensure the integrity and highest quality of CytoJournal publications, the review process of this manuscript was conducted under a double-blind model (authors are blinded for reviewers and vice versa) through automatic online system.

A 26-year-old male presented with chief complaints of on and off painless hematuria, and burning micturition for the past 3 months. The patient also had an episode of fever 1 month back. There was no history of increased frequency of micturition, dysuria, renal or ureteric colic, jaundice, trauma, instrumentation, or passage of milky white urine. Complete blood count and peripheral smear examination were within normal limits at the initial presentation. Ultrasound sonography abdomen showed distended urinary bladder and low-level internal echoes in the lumen with heteroechoic lesion [Figure 2a]. Clinical suspicion of carcinoma of the urinary bladder was raised. Urine cytology showed finding shown in [Figure 1].
Figure 1: (a) Day-1 urine cytology smear showing predominantly lymphoid cells (Giemsa, ×100); (b) Urothelial cells along with lymphoid cells and occasional eosinophil on day 2 urine sample (Pap, ×100); (c and d) These structures on day 2 sample (Giemsa, [c] ×200 and [d] ×400]; (e and f) Day 4 urine cytology showing the structures with urothelial cells and lymphocytes (Pap, [e]×100 and [f]×400).

Click here to view
Figure 2: (a) Ultrasonography abdomen showing distended urinary bladder with hetero-echoic lesion in the lumen. (b) Gross image of achylous thin reddish-brown urine sample from the patient presenting with hematuria

Click here to view

 » Q1: What is Your Interpretation? Top

  1. Urinary filariasis (Wuchereria bancrofti)
  2. Schistosoma larvae
  3. Strongyloidiasis with underlying bladder malignancy
  4. Filariasis with underlying lymphoid malignancy.

 » Answer 1 Top

Option A: Urinary filariasis (W. bancrofti)


The urinary sediment smears were stained by Papanicolaou and Giemsa stains. They showed the presence of many reactive lymphoid cells, few eosinophils, and neutrophils along with a predominance of RBCs and few degenerated benign urothelial cells. Also noted were microfilariae of W. bancrofti in the 2nd and 5th day urine samples, confirmed by the presence of a sac-like hyaline sheath, which was present throughout the length, a cephalic space and nuclei, extending from the head and ending abruptly, leaving the tail tip free of nuclei, and the pointed terminal end. No atypical urothelial cells were noted.

Acetone test was done on the 5th day urine sample. Grossly, we had received 15 ml blood mixed fluid. The sample was centrifuged at 3000 rpm for 3 min. On addition of few drops of acetone in the centrifuged sample, opacity was not cleared of; suggesting the absence of chyle in urine [Figure 2]b. A repeat hemogram showed the presence of increased absolute eosinophil count (800/μL); however, no parasite was noted on PS examination. The patient was treated with a 21-day course of diethylcarbamazine and was doing well until last follow-up.

 » Additional Question Top

Q2: What is lesion in urinary bladder?

  1. Primary bladder malignancy
  2. Metastasis to the urinary bladder
  3. Blood clot
  4. Nonneoplastic lesion.

 » Answer 2 Top

Option C: Blood clot


Ultrasound abdomen revealed a distended urinary bladder and showed low-level internal echoes in the lumen of the bladder with heteroechoic contents which were mobile; hence, a possibility of clots was suggested, but the histological correlation was advised to rule out any underlying malignancy. Urine was sent for cytological evaluation.

Schistosoma larvae (cercariae) are released from snails into water and penetrate human skin exposed to infected water. Eggs are deposited in bladder wall vessels and incite a granulomatous response resulting in polypoid lesions and also causing eosinophilic inflammation, necrosis and ulceration, followed by fibrosis.

Strongyloides stercoralisis a human pathogenic parasitic roundworm causing the disease strongyloidosis. Its commonly called as threadworm. Infection is usually seen in lung & small intestine. Tissue eosinophilia and granulocytic infiltration may cause abscess formation.

 » Discussion Top

Filariasis is a major public health problem in tropical countries, especially in the Asian continent. It is a disabling parasitic infection noted worldwide.[1],[2],[3],[4] The various species of filarial organisms are W. bancrofti, B. malayi, Brugia timori, etc.[1],[2],[3],[4] The larval form of filarial infection can be seen in various cytologic smears from different organs such as breast, thyroid, liver, salivary gland, soft tissues and bone marrow aspirates, etc.[2],[3],[4],[5],[6] However, it is much rarer to find microfilaria in urine cytology smears.[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7]

In India, majority of the filarial infections are caused by W. bancrofti; accounting for approximately 95% of cases.[1],[2],[3] Filariasis is caused by nematodes group of parasites usually located in blood vessels, lymphatics, connective tissue, and serous cavities. W. bancrofti is the most common species found in India.[2],[3],[4] This is sheathed microfilaria with tail tip free from nuclei. W. bancrofti completes its life cycle in two hosts. Man is the definitive and mosquito is the intermediate host. Adult worms live in lymph nodes where the gravid females release microfilaria, which circulate in the peripheral circulation. These larval forms are injurious causing lymphangitis leading to further complications. During their transport in blood, they can get lodged in various organs causing different symptoms.

Patients with filariasis are usually asymptomatic but may present with varied clinical manifestations, that is, microfilaremia, lymphedema, hydrocele, acute adenolymphangitis, chronic lymphatic disease and rarely with the chyluria and tropical eosinophilia. Although chyluria is a known complication of filariasis, it is scarce to document filaria in achylous urine and may be due to lymphatic blockage by scars or tumors and damage to vessel walls by inflammation, trauma, or stasis.[4],[5],[6],[7]

Webber and Eveland were the first to report microfilaria in both voided as well as catheterized urine samples from a young male patient with intermittent painless hematuria.[1] There are few studies where microfilaria was noted in a urinary sample where there was clinical suspicion of malignancy, but computed tomography (CT) and cystoscopic findings were normal.[3],[6] Vankalakunti et al.[3] and Ahuja et al.[6] noted similar findings in patients who presented with painless hematuria, but there was no evidence of malignancy based on radiological or cystoscopic findings. We also noted microfilaria in a patient with achylous hematuria; however, in our case, the patient presented with a mass lesion in the bladder on USG mimicking malignancy which is not only an unusual finding but also makes the presentation more interesting.

In the present case, cytological examination of day one urine sample showed many lymphoid cells with few degenerated forms and few eosinophils which raised the suspicion of malignancy/lymphoma, especially when correlated with radiology revealing a mass in the lumen of the bladder. However, subsequent examination of urine on 4 more consecutive days revealed the presence of microfilaria in the 2nd and 4th day urine sample along with benign urothelial cells, thereby excluding malignancy/lymphoma.

It is rare to document microfilaria in the urine sample of patient presenting with an exophytic lesion in the bladder.[5],[7] A study by Jain et al.[5] documented a case of microfilaria in achylous urine with mass lesion in the bladder on CT scan. This case simulates the index case; however, in our patient, the presence of numerous lymphocytes was also noted which prompted us to exclude the presence of malignancy/nonHodgkin lymphoma. However, subsequent examination of urine samples in our case showed the presence of sheathed microfilaria of W. bancrofti.

Apart from an examination of peripheral blood, urine, and other body fluids for detecting microfilaria, serological markers can also be used.[5],[6],[7],[8] The patients with microfilaria develop IgG4 antibodies against W. bancrofti antigen Wb-SXP-1.[4],[5],[6],[7],[8] As these patients can be easily treated with diethylcarbamazine (DEC), early and correct cytological diagnosis of filariasis is very important, especially in cases masquerading as malignancy based on clinical and radiological findings.

 » Summary and Conclusion Top

The detection of microfilaria in achylous hematuria is very rare. A simple investigative modality can help in diagnosing urinary filariasis in cases where there is strong clinical suspicion of malignancy along with the presence of mass lesion in bladder on radiology. The parasite may not be seen at initial presentation; hence, a careful cytological examination of consecutive days urine sample should be done. Treatment is simple with DEC, hence timely intervention is very important to prevent any further complications.

 » Competing Interest Statement by all the Authors Top

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.

 » Authorship Statements by all Authors Top

All authors of this article declare that we qualify for authorship as defined by ICMJE. Each author has participated sufficiently in work and takes public responsibility for appropriateness of content of this article.

 » Ethics Statement by all Authors Top

As this is a quiz case, this case does not require approval from the Institutional Review Board.

 » List of Abbreviations (In Alphabetic Order) Top

B. malayi - Brugia malayi

B. timori - Brugia timori

CT - Computed tomography

DEC - Diethylcarbamazine

PS - Peripheral smear

RBCs - Red blood cells

USG - Ultrasound sonography

W. bancrofti - Wuchereria bancrofti.

 » References Top

Webber CA, Eveland LK. Cytologic detection of Wuchereria bancrofti microfilariae in urine collected during a routine workup for hematuria. Acta Cytol 1982;26:837-40.  Back to cited text no. 1
Devasia A, Ponnaiya J, Gopalakrishnan G. Filarial cystitis with ureteral obstruction. J Urol 1998;159:1637-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
Vankalakunti M, Kumar S, Nijhawan R. Microfilariae in urine. Acta Cytol 2008;52:639-40.  Back to cited text no. 3
Verma R, Vij M. Microfilariae of Wuchereria bancrofti in urine: An uncommon finding. Diagn Cytopathol 2011;39:847-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
Jain S, Desai P, Goel G, Singh N, Kaushal S. Urinary filariasis masquerading as the bladder tumor: A case report with cyto-histological correlation. J Cytol 2015;32:124-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Ahuja A, Das P, Durgapal P, Saini A, Dogra PN, Mathur SR, et al. Microfilaria in a patient of achylous hematuria: A rare finding in urine cytology. J Cytol 2012;29:147-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
  [Full text]  
Gourlay WA, Chiu A, Montessori VC, Dunn IJ. Urinary filariasis presenting as bladder pseudotumors. J Urol 1999;161:603-4.  Back to cited text no. 7
Roy I, Mukhopadhyay C, Ayyagari A. Multisystem involvement of microfilaria in a HIV positive patient. Nepal Med Coll J 2004;6:64-6.  Back to cited text no. 8


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


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