Morphological and Immunohistochemical Biomarkers in Distinguishing Prostate Carcinoma and Urothelial Carcinoma: A Comprehensive Review

Int J Surg Pathol. 2019 Apr;27(2):120-133. doi: 10.1177/1066896918814198. Epub 2018 Dec 3.


The differential diagnosis between high-grade prostate carcinoma and infiltrating urothelial carcinoma (UC) in transurethral resection prostate specimens as well as cystoprostatectomy specimens may often be challenging due to morphologic and clinical overlap of the 2 entities. Such distinction has critical therapeutic and staging consequences, yet it is hampered by both issues in morphology and by the low accuracy rates of single immunohistochemical markers, as reported in literature. This review aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the available morphological and immunohistochemical parameters, which may allow to discriminate between prostate carcinoma and urothelial carcinoma in the proper clinical context and to discuss their diagnostic applications in daily practice.

Keywords: differential diagnosis; immunohistochemistry; morphology; prostate carcinoma; urothelial carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / secondary
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / secondary
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology


  • Biomarkers, Tumor