How important is urinary cytology in the diagnosis of urological malignancies?

Ghulam Nabi, D. R. Greene, Mary O'Donnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To audit clinical usefulness of urine cytology examination in a subspecialised urological unit setting. Patients and Methods: Data from the hospital information support system on urinary cytology examinations carried out at one centre was audited over a period of 15 months. Source of urine cytology specimens, clinical profile of patients and the findings of urinary cytology were analysed and collated. Results: A total of 1400 urinary cytology specimen on 900 patients were requested during 15 months study period. Urologists requested 1092 (78%) and non-urologists (general practitioners, physician or general surgeons) requested 318 (22%) specimens. The majority of specimens, 1115 (80%) did not show any cytological evidence of malignancy. 83 specimens (6%) showed cytological evidence of malignant cells consistent with origin from a urothelial malignancy. Among this group 87% (72) were more than 50 years of age and 60 (72%) had history of gross heamaturia. 159 (11.35) cases were reported as being suspicious of malignancy or showing atypical cells requiring further evidence. A total of 43 (3.04%) specimens were poorly preserved or insufficient for diagnosis. The positivity rate amongst urologist and non-urologists request was 56% and 6% respectively (p = 0.00001 value). The source in 37 (86%) specimens reported, as poorly preserved or insufficient for diagnosis was non-urologists compared to 6 (14%) from urologists with significant p value (0.00001). Conclusions: Urinary cytology for malignant cells is a contributory investigation in the diagnosis of urological malignancy. It should be only ordered in the proper clinical situation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-636
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


  • Cytology
  • Malignancy
  • Malignant cells
  • Urinary bladder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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