Kidney tumor
Adult renal cell carcinoma
Urothelial carcinoma of renal pelvis, with glandular differentiation

Author: Nicole K. Andeen, M.D.
Editor: Maria Tretiakova, M.D.

Revised: 19 April 2018, last major update January 2016

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Urothelial carcinoma glandular differentiation renal pelvis

Related Topic: Urothelial carcinoma of renal pelvis
Cite this page: Andeen, N.K. Urothelial carcinoma of renal pelvis, with glandular differentiation. website. Accessed April 23rd, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Glandular differentiation is defined by the presence of true glandular spaces, usually tubular or gland-like lumina, or with morphology similar to enteric adenocarcinomas and variable mucin production
  • Cytoplasmic mucin containing cells are seen in normal urothelium and are not considered to represent glandular differentiation (Arch Pathol Lab Med 2007;131:1244)
Essential features
  • Presence of true glandular spaces
    • Cytoplasmic mucin is seen in normal urothelium and not diagnostic of glandular differentiation
  • No known prognostic significance
  • Foci of glandular differentiation are less common than squamous differentiation, and seen in up to 10% of urothelial carcinomas (Mod Pathol 2009;22:S96)
  • Bladder, kidney
Clinical features
  • Similar to other urothelial carcinomas
Prognostic factors
Case reports
  • Too few cases to establish specific treatment recommendations
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • True glandular structures within a conventional urothelial carcinoma
  • Glands are of either tubular or enteric type, with a single layer of neoplastic columnar cells radially arranged around a lumen, with or without mucin production
  • May resemble enteric adenocarcinomas
  • May have signet ring morphology, with neoplastic signet ring cells floating in pools of mucin
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:
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Gland-like lumina

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Irregular branching lumina

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Contributed by Dr. Nicole K. Andeen and Dr. Maria Tretiakova

Differential diagnosis
Additional references