Clinically undetected plasmacytoid urothelial carcinoma of the urinary bladder with non-mass-forming metastases in multiple organs: an autopsy case

J Pathol Transl Med. 2022 May 3. doi: 10.4132/jptm.2022.03.15. Online ahead of print.


This case report outlines a clinically undetected urinary bladder plasmacytoid urothelial carcinoma (PUC) with multiple metastases detected at autopsy. An 89-year-old man presented with edema in the lower limbs. Pleural fluid cytology revealed discohesive carcinomatous cells, although imaging studies failed to identify the primary site of tumor. The patient died of respiratory failure. Autopsy disclosed a prostate tumor and diffusely thickened urinary bladder and rectum without distinct tumorous lesions. Histologically, the tumor consisted of acinar-type prostate adenocarcinoma with no signs of metastasis. Additionally, small, plasmacytoid tumor cells were observed in the urinary bladder/rectum as isolated or small clustering fashions. These metastasized to the lungs, intestine, generalized lymph nodes in a non-mass-forming manner. Combined with immunohistochemical studies, these tumor cells were diagnosed PUC derived from the urinary bladder. Both clinicians and pathologists should recognize PUC as an aggressive histological variant, which can represent a rapid systemic progression without mass-forming lesions.

PMID:35501670 | DOI:10.4132/jptm.2022.03.15