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Pathol Res Pract. 2003;199(11):765-9.

Pigmented composite paraganglioma-ganglioneuroma of the urinary bladder.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, 1st Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.


We report a case of a pigmented composite paraganglioma-ganglioneuroma of the urinary bladder in a 70-year-old female. Grossly, the tumor measured 6.5 cm in diameter and had arisen from the base of the urinary bladder. Histologically, the tumor was composed of approximately equal components of paraganglioma and ganglioneuroma, which were partly separated and partly mixed, and intermingled with each other. There were foci of ample dark brown pigmentation in the cytoplasm of chromaffin paraganglioma cells. The pigment was Masson-Fontana-positive and had been bleached by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Electron microscopy showed large, abundant, pleomorphic electron-dense granules consistent with neuromelanin. In addition, there were numerous electron-dense neurosecretory-type granules. Neuromelanin, melanin or lipofuscin are occasionally observed in paragangliomas, although the occurrence of these pigments has never been described in a composite tumor originating from either adrenal medulla or extraadrenal paraganglia. To the best of our knowledge, our report represents the first case of pigmented composite paraganglioma-ganglioneuroma and expands the morphological spectrum of these unusual tumors.

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