What are the histologic types of urothelial tumors of the renal pelvis and ureters?

Updated: Aug 07, 2020
  • Author: Kyle A Richards, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) is the most common histology observed, accounting for greater than 95% of upper urinary tract urothelial tumors. TCCs are strongly associated with smoking.

Squamous cell carcinoma comprises 1-7% of upper tract urothelial tumors. Squamous cell carcinoma is frequently associated with longstanding infected staghorn calculi. Affected patients frequently present with moderately to poorly differentiated tumors and advanced disease.

Adenocarcinoma accounts for less than 1% of upper tract tumors. Patients with adenocarcinoma of the upper urinary tract may also have associated calculi and long-term obstruction, suggesting an etiologic origin for these processes.

Inverted papilloma is an unusual lesion that is generally considered a benign histologic lesion; however, it may harbor foci of malignant change.

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