Bladder & ureters
Cytology - normal findings

Topic Completed: 1 December 2014

Minor changes: 7 May 2020

Copyright: 2003-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Bladder [title] normal cytology

Rugvedita Parakh, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 2,576
Page views in 2020 to date: 1,023
Cite this page: Parakh R. Cytology - normal findings. website. Accessed May 26th, 2020.
Cytology description
Voided urine
  • Paucicellular
  • Urothelial cells, squamous cells, inflammatory cells and possibly red blood cells
  • The umbrella cells have one nucleus, abundant delicate cytoplasm, low N/C ratio, smooth nuclear contours with fine chromatin pattern and a small chromocenter
  • The basal and intermediate layers are smaller and have a columnar or cuboidal appearance; the nuclei are round with smooth nuclear contours with a fine chromatin pattern
  • Nucleoli are either absent or single and minute
  • Reactive conditions (e.g. urolithiasis, post instrumentation) demonstrate clusters of basal and intermediate urothelial cells

Instrumentation related urine
  • More cellular
  • Presence of clusters of urothelial cells forming cell balls and pseudopapillary clusters
  • The urothelial cells have a low N/C ratio, round nuclei, fine chromatin pattern and smooth nuclear contours
  • Instrumentation effect: crowded cluster formations, hyperchromasia and distinct nucleoli; may lead to a false positive diagnosis

Ileal conduit urine
  • Cellular
  • Many degenerated single cells (oval with pyknotic nuclei) and few glandular cells (vacuolated cytoplasm, hyperchromatic nuclei but preserved N/C ratio of normal cells)
  • Dirty background
  • Non-specific eosinophilic cytoplasmic inclusions
  • A potential pitfall due to hyperchromasia
Cytology images

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Urine cytology

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