Although the papillary urothelial neoplasm of low malignant potential (PUNLMP) diagnostic category was retained in the updated 2016 World Health Organisation (WHO) classification of tumours of the urinary system, there still exists a great deal of controversy regarding the biological behaviour of these tumours. We review PUNLMP tumours and histological grading with an emphasis on the histomorphological, genetic and clinical similarities between PUNLMP and low-grade non-invasive papillary urothelial carcinoma. A literature search using PubMed was performed. All relevant literature concerning PUNLMP and the grading of urothelial tumours was reviewed. PUNLMPs cannot be reliably distinguished from low-grade non-invasive papillary urothelial carcinomas based on the histomorphological criteria outlined in the WHO 2004/2016 classification system. PUNLMPs and low-grade non-invasive papillary urothelial carcinomas are not only morphologically similar, but also share similar molecular genetic alterations and a similar risk of recurrence and progression. In addition, there are no consensus recommendations for a different method of treatment and follow-up for these two tumour types. Attempting to distinguish PUNLMP from low-grade papillary urothelial carcinoma adds an unnecessary level of complexity to the grading and classification of urothelial tumours. We feel that PUNLMP terminology should be abandoned and that all such tumours should be classified as low-grade carcinomas until more objective determinants of clinical outcome can be established.
- differential diagnosis
- histological grading
- urothelial carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine