Inverted urothelial papilloma: A review of diagnostic pitfalls and clinical management

Academic Article


  • © 2017 Canadian Urological Association. Inverted urothelial papilloma (IUP) is a rare, non-invasive endophytic lesion that accounts for 1‒2% of urothelial tumours. On cystoscopy, IUP appears as a pedunculated/papillary mass with a smooth surface. On microscopy, IUP has an endophytic growth pattern with the bulk of the tumour covered by a superficial layer of urothelium, which can be hyperplastic or attenuated. The cytology should be bland, with uniform, spindled cells arranged in anasto-mosing trabeculae and cords with peripheral palisading of basaloid cells. Exophytic papillae and mitotic activity should be absent or focal. Pseudoglandular spaces and squamous metaplasia may also be present. There are distinct molecular differences between IUP and urothelial carcinoma (UC). IUP rarely has mutations of FGFR3, homozygous loss of 9p21, or gain of chromosomes 3, 7, and 17, whereas these mutations are frequently seen in UC. In addition, IUP is much less likely to have TERT mutations compared to UC. Immunohistochemistry can also be helpful in distinguishing the two entities as IUP is typically negative for CK20 and has a low Ki-67 proliferation index. Positivity for p53 may be seen in a minority of IUP. IUP can recur and be seen in association with UC. Distinguishing IUP from UC can be difficult due to the similarity between the two entities both on cystoscopy and histology, as up to 25% of UCs will also have inverted growth. Given the morphologic variants of IUP and UC, it is possible for a diagnostic error to occur, which can significantly impact patient management.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sweeney MK; Rais-Bahrami S; Gordetsky J
  • Start Page

  • 66
  • End Page

  • 69
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 1-2February