Vulva, vagina & female urethra

Female urethra

Benign female urethral lesions

Last author update: 1 June 2012
Last staff update: 9 December 2021

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PubMed Search: urethra benign lesions female

Turki Al-Hussain, M.D.
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Cite this page: Al-Hussain T. Benign female urethral lesions. website. Accessed September 30th, 2023.

Definition / general:
  • Only in female urethra
  • Resembles small raspberry protruding from external urethral meatus
  • Considered a reactive polypoid lesion
  • Patients may be asymptomatic although commonly they experience dysuria, urinary frequency, obstructive symptoms
  • Bleeds easily, may become infected
  • Often recurs, perhaps due to persistence of inciting factors

  • Excision

Microscopic (histologic) description:
  • Three histologic subgroups are described, based on the most prominent component:
    1. Papillomatous
    2. Angiomatous
    3. Granulomatous
  • Highly vascularized fibroblastic connective tissue with chronic inflammation, dilated blood vessels, hyperplastic epithelium
  • Invaginations of urothelium extending into stroma are common, showing rounded nests with cystic or glandular luminal spaces, similar to urethritis cystica / glandularis, without intestinal metaplasia (Hum Pathol 2012;43:1400)

Differential diagnosis:

Definition / general:
  • Usually women, either acquired or congenital
  • In adults, usually secondary to infection, trauma, calculus, obstruction, dilation or inflammation of paraurethral gland
  • Carcinoma may arise in diverticula very rarely

Microscopic (histologic) description:
  • Lined by urothelium, with or without squamous or glandular metaplasia
  • Submucosa is often edematous and inflamed
  • Nephrogenic adenoma may arise in diverticula
Inverted papilloma

Definition / general:
  • Rare in urethra
  • Similar to those in bladder

Definition / general:
  • Most common soft tissue tumor of urethra
  • Relatively common in women, rare (< 10 reported) in men

Case report:
  • 48 year old man with quadriplegia (Arch Pathol Lab Med 2000;124:302)
  • Nephrogenic (mesonephric) adenoma

    Definition / general:
    • Metaplastic change, not neoplastic, common in urethra
    • Similar to lesions in bladder neck

    Definition / general:
    • Rare in urethra
    • Similar to those in bladder
    Polypoid urethritis

    Definition / general:
    • Urethral counterpart of polypoid cystitis

    Definition / general:
    • May occur in childhood and simulate a neoplasm
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