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Int Braz J Urol. 2007 May-Jun;33(3):355-60; discussion 361-3.

Inflammatory atrophy on prostate needle biopsies: is there topographic relationship to cancer?

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  • 1Department of Anatomic Pathology, School of Medicine, State University of Campinas (Unicamp), Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil. athanase@fcm.unicamp.br



Chronic inflammation of longstanding duration has been linked to the development of carcinoma in several organ systems. It is controversial whether there is any relationship of inflammatory atrophy to prostate cancer. It has been suggested that the proliferative epithelium in inflammatory atrophy may progress to high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia and/or adenocarcinoma. The objective of our study is to compare on needle prostate biopsies of patients showing cancer the topographical relation of inflammatory atrophy and atrophy with no inflammation to adenocarcinoma.


The frequency and extent of the lesions were studied on 172 needle biopsies of patients with prostate cancer. In cores showing both lesions, the foci of atrophy were counted. Clinicopathological features were compared according to presence or absence of inflammation.


Considering only cores showing adenocarcinoma, atrophy was seen in 116/172 (67.44%) biopsies; 70/116 (60.34%) biopsies showed atrophy and no inflammation and 46/116 (39.66%) biopsies showed inflammatory atrophy. From a total of 481 cores in 72 biopsies with inflammatory atrophy 184/481 (38.25%) cores showed no atrophy; 166/481 (34.51%) cores showed atrophy and no inflammation; 111/481 (23.08%) cores showed both lesions; and 20/481 (4.16%) showed only inflammatory atrophy. There was no statistically significant difference for the clinicopathological features studied.


The result of our study seems not to favor the model of prostatic carcinogenesis in which there is a topographical relation of inflammatory atrophy to adenocarcinoma.

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