Bladder, ureter & renal pelvis
Other tumors

Topic Completed: 1 December 2014

Minor changes: 3 December 2020

Copyright: 2003-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Bladder lymphoma [title]

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Cite this page: Levy G. Lymphoma. website. Accessed January 24th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Either primary (rare, originating in bladder with no known lymphoma elsewhere) or secondary (much more common)
  • Female predominance, most cases are in middle aged women
  • Secondary bladder involvement occurs in 10-25% of leukemias / lymphomas and in advanced stage systemic lymphoma
  • Rare as primary; <100 cases
  • MALT is most common subtype in bladder; typically affects adults > 60 years, 75% female
  • Diffuse large B cell lymphoma is also common, and may arise from transformation of MALT (J Clin Pathol 2000;53:458)
  • Bladder, lower ureteral tract
Clinical features
  • Comprises 5% of non-urothelial tumors of urothelial tract
  • Long median survival for either primary lymphoma of bladder or lymphoma with initial presentation in bladder but other coexisting disease (Am J Surg Pathol 1997;21:1324)
  • Recurrent lymphoma in bladder is associated with widely disseminated disease and poor prognosis
  • Presents with gross hematruia, dysuria, urinary frequency, nocturia, and abdominal or back pain

  • Low grade MALT lymphoma: most common lymphoma subtype in bladder; much more common as secondary tumor than primary tumor; history of chronic cystitis common (Arch Pathol Lab Med 2001;125:332)
Prognostic factors
  • Histologic subtype, stage
Case reports
  • MALT: radiation therapy, usually no recurrences
Radiology description
  • Submucosal masses: 70% of cases are solitary mass, 20% of cases are multiple masses, and 10% of cases show diffuse wall thickening
Gross description
  • Discrete tumors, usually large and centered in dome or lateral walls
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • MALT: sheets of low grade, uniform cells that surround and separate, but don't destroy muscle fascicles
Cytology description
  • MALT: monomorphic small to medium sized lymphocytes
Positive stains
Negative stains
Molecular / cytogenetics description
  • MALT Lymphoma: t(11;18) (q21:21)
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