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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2007 Feb;131(2):297-300.

Malakoplakia outside the urinary tract.

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Eastern Health Discipline of Pathology, 300 Prince Philip Dr, St John's, Newfoundland, Canada A1B 3V6.

Erratum in

  • Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2009 Jun;133(6):850. Hamodat, Mowafak M [added].



Malakoplakia is a rare granulomatous disease that occurs commonly in the urinary tract. Histologically, it is defined by sheets of histiocytes (Hansemann cells) with accumulation of granular basophilic periodic acid-Schiff-positive, diastase-resistant inclusions and calcified Michaelis-Gutmann bodies, which are pathognomonic but not necessary for diagnosis. In addition to the urinary tract, malakoplakia has been reported in other organs, including the gastrointestinal tract, central nervous system, female genital tract, and the tongue.


To review the literature of reported sites of malakoplakia outside the urinary tract and their variable clinical presentations, and to discuss the main diagnostic features and differential diagnoses of malakoplakia. The pathogenesis and possible etiologic factors are also presented.


Data for this work were collected from the published literature, textbooks, and the Internet.


It is important to be aware of the existence of this entity in abnormal locations. In many situations, malignancy can be mimicked, especially when the lesion is ulcerated and is accompanied by lymph node involvement. Misinterpreting large, rapidly growing nodules of malakoplakia as tumor might lead to overstaging. Pathologists should be also aware of the possibility of malakoplakia coexisting with other lesions, such as tuberculosis and carcinoma, in the same specimen.

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