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Acta Cytol. 2012;56(3):271-6. doi: 10.1159/000336635. Epub 2012 Apr 26.

Vegetable cell contaminants in urinary bladder diversion cytology specimens.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine, Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX, USA.



We identified unique vegetable cell-like structures in urinary diversion specimens. This study aimed to describe their cytomorphology and prevalence and to investigate the possible origin of these contaminants.


A 10-year retrospective review of urinary diversion urine specimens with reported vegetable cell-like structures was performed. Data regarding patient demographics, previous history and specimen cytomorphology were recorded. To determine their prevalence, 100 urinary diversion cases were screened. Stoma materials were evaluated as possible contaminant sources.


A total of 11 urine cases from 7 patients (mean age 64 years; male/female ratio 2.5:1; all with ileal conduits) were identified with contaminating vegetable cell-like structures. These thick-walled cells contained dense, smudged cores and pericentral clearing. In 27% of cases, the specimens were less than optimal or unsatisfactory for evaluation due to low cellularity and associated lubricant material. No contaminating vegetable cell-like structures were found in the 100 screened cases. Stoma care products tested did not yield any morphologically similar structures.


Vegetable cell-like structures may rarely be identified as a contaminant in urinary diversion specimens, possibly from stoma care material. Associated lubricant may affect specimen adequacy. These vegetable cell-like structures must be distinguished from true pathologic structures such as koilocytes or parasitic ova.

Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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