There is limited literature describing gynecologic adenocarcinomas involving the urinary bladder, and potential diagnostic pitfalls.


To describe key features distinguishing metastatic (or extension of) gynecologic adenocarcinomas from urothelial carcinomas with glandular differentiation.


Retrospective review of surgical pathology cases of gynecologic adenocarcinomas involving the bladder, from 2 different institutions, retrieved from surgical pathology archives, was performed. Morphologic features were recorded, along with immunohistochemistry results when available. Electronic medical records were reviewed for clinical and radiographic information.


Sixteen cases of gynecologic adenocarcinomas (9 endometrial endometrioid adenocarcinomas, 4 endometrial serous carcinomas, 2 high-grade tubo-ovarian serous carcinomas, and 1 cervical adenosquamous carcinoma) involving the bladder were identified. All included cases had mucosal involvement potentially mimicking primary bladder neoplasms, including 4 cases originally diagnosed as urinary carcinomas. Tumors expressed keratin 7 (12 of 13; 92%), PAX8 (11 of 12; 92%), estrogen receptor (11 of 15; 73%), p16 (8 of 11; 73%), progesterone receptor (8 of 14; 57%), GATA3 (5 of 12; 42%), and p63 (3 of 11; 27%); all tumors were negative for keratin 20 (0 of 12). Features supportive of Müllerian origin included prior history of gynecologic malignancy, lack of morphologic heterogeneity in nonendometrioid tumors, and immunophenotypic coexpression of PAX8 and estrogen receptor with absent GATA3. Potential pitfalls seen in a subset of cases included misleading radiologic and cystoscopic findings, replacement of the overlying urothelial mucosa by tumor mimicking precursor lesions, focal GATA3 and/or p63 positivity, and areas of squamous differentiation in tumors of endometrioid histology.


A combination of clinical history, certain morphologic features, and proper selection of immunohistochemical stains is key for the correct diagnosis of secondary gynecologic adenocarcinomas involving the urinary bladder.

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Author notes

Russell is currently located in the Department of Pathology at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.

Competing Interests

The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.

Presented as a poster at the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathologists meeting; March 21, 2022; Los Angeles, California.