Fine-Needle Aspiration Cytology of Metastatic Plasmacytoid Urothelial Carcinoma: Report of Four Cases Including a Case of Mixed Plasmacytoid and Micropapillary Morphology

Howard H. Wu, Chia Sui Kao, David J. Grignon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Objectives: The aim of this study was to report a small series of fine-needle aspiration (FNA) cytology of the plasmacytoid variant of urothelial carcinoma (PVUC). Study Design: A computerized search of our laboratory information system was performed for the 5-year period between January 2008 and January 2013 to identify all FNA cases in which the corresponding surgical pathology cases were diagnosed as PVUC. Results: The 4 cases identified were from 2 men (aged 56 and 64 years) and 2 women (aged 72 and 46 years). The FNA smears demonstrated low-to-moderate cellularity and consisted predominantly of single and dyshesive, medium-sized tumor cells with eccentrically located nuclei and a moderate-to-abundant dense cytoplasm. The nuclei were oval with slightly irregular nuclear membranes and contained coarse granular chromatin with inconspicuous or small nucleoli. There was moderate nuclear variation in size. The nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio ranged from <1 to 3. Binucleation, cytoplasmic vacuoles, and perinuclear hof were occasionally seen. Conclusions: FNA cytology of PVUC shares features with plasma cell neoplasms, lobular carcinoma of the breast, and signet ring cell carcinoma of the stomach. Being aware of the patient's clinical history and the potential diagnostic pitfall of this rare variant of urothelial carcinoma is important for an accurate diagnosis on FNA biopsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-252
Number of pages5
JournalActa Cytologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015



  • Cytology
  • Fine-needle aspiration
  • Plasmacytoid urothelial carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology

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