Intraoperative pathology consultation for kidney and urinary bladder specimens

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2005 Dec;129(12):1585-601. doi: 10.5858/2005-129-1585-IPCFKA.


Context: Intraoperative pathology consultation for kidney and urinary bladder specimens is relatively infrequent. Scant literature is devoted to this topic.

Objective: The clinical indications and diagnostic usefulness and pitfalls of intraoperative pathology consultation of kidney and urinary bladder specimens will be reviewed, based on literature and personally encountered cases.

Data sources: The indications for intraoperative pathology consultation for renal lesions included (1) surgical margins in partial nephrectomy specimens, (2) solid renal mass in unusual clinical or radiologic settings, (3) synchronous renal and extrarenal masses, (4) cystic renal lesions, (5) ureteral surgical margin for transitional cell carcinoma, (6) multiple renal masses, (7) solid mass in a diffusely cystic kidney, and (8) evaluation of renal injury. The indications for urinary bladder included (1) status of the surgical margins, (2) diagnosis of bladder tumor biopsy, (3) diagnosis of extravesical tumors with vesical extension, (4) diagnosis of extravesical mass, including pelvic lymph nodes encountered during cystectomy, and (5) status of bladder neck margin during radical prostatectomy for cancer. The frequent problematic areas for the kidney included misdiagnosis or incorrect classification of cystic tumors or spindle cell tumors, and confusion of clear cell renal cell carcinoma with inflammatory lesions. The problematic areas for urinary bladder included the differential diagnoses of high-grade dysplasia/carcinoma in situ with reactive changes at the ureteral or urethral surgical margins.

Conclusions: Distinctive indications and diagnostic pitfalls are recognized for intraoperative consultation of renal or urinary bladder lesions. Awareness of the pertinent problems should improve diagnostic accuracy and facilitate the proper management of these lesions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Frozen Sections
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Period
  • Kidney Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Kidney Diseases / surgery
  • Pathology, Surgical / methods*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Urinary Bladder Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Urinary Bladder Diseases / surgery