Non-urothelial carcinomas of the bladder

Histopathology. 2019 Jan;74(1):97-111. doi: 10.1111/his.13719.


Non-urothelial carcinomas involving the bladder are uncommon and often diagnostically challenging. These carcinomas may show squamous, adenocarcinomatous or neuroendocrine features, with immunohistochemical stains aiding the diagnosis in only a subset of cases. The clinical history in non-urothelial bladder carcinomas is important, given that the differential diagnosis often includes secondary involvement of the bladder by direct extension or metastasis from carcinomas at other sites. This paper will review non-urothelial carcinomas in each of these three morphological categories, emphasising recent changes in diagnostic grouping and challenges in the histopathological diagnosis. Review of bladder cancers with squamous morphology will include discussion of conventional squamous cell carcinoma and verrucous carcinoma and their distinction from urothelial carcinoma with extensive squamous differentiation. Bladder carcinomas with adenocarcinomatous change will include primary bladder adenocarcinoma, urachal adenocarcinoma and tumours of Müllerian type. Finally, neuroendocrine neoplasms of the bladder, including well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumour and neuroendocrine carcinomas, will be discussed. Associated surface findings, risk factors and prognostic features will be described.

Keywords: non-urothelial carcinoma; urinary bladder.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology*