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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2000 Jul;124(7):1047-52.

Urinary cytologic findings in patients with benign and malignant adenomatous polyps of the prostatic urethra.

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  • 1Division of Cytology, Department of Pathology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, USA.



Urethral adenomatous polyps with prostatic epithelium (also known as benign prostatic epithelial polyps [BPEPs]) are a documented cause of hematuria, dysuria, and hematospermia, conditions that may prompt cytologic evaluation of urine.


The urine cytologic test findings in 5 cases of biopsy-proven BPEPs and in 1 case of prostatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) that presented as a urethral polyp were retrospectively evaluated. Immunocytochemical stain for prostate-specific antigen (PSA), prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP), and high-molecular-weight cytokeratin (34betaE12) were used in evaluation of the lesions.


In 4 of 5 cases of BPEPs, clusters of bland columnar cells with uniform, oval nuclei were seen. Positive immunostaining for PSA and PAP confirmed the prostatic origin of the clusters in 2 cases. One urine sample contained abundant goblet cells and extracellular mucin, consistent with intestinal metaplasia coexisting in the bladder biopsy specimen. The urine sample in the fifth case of BPEPs contained no columnar cells. The last case had multiple urine cytologic evaluations that demonstrated PSA-positive, malignant-appearing clusters of columnar cells. A biopsy specimen of the polyps was described as a high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasm in adenomatous polyp. However, in this patient, PDA was diagnosed on transurethral resection of the prostate specimen 4 years after the initial urine cytologic test.


Benign prostatic epithelial polyps should be considered in the differential diagnosis of clusters of columnar cells in urine cytologic testing. Cells with malignant nuclear features should instigate a careful search for a (prostatic) neoplasm, which may present as urethral polyps (e.g., PDA). Stains for PSA or PAP are useful adjuncts in differential diagnosis of this condition.

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