The pathologic diagnosis of pT1 substage in conventional transurethral resection of bladder tumor specimens is inaccurate and has low interobserver reproducibility owing to fragmentation and cauterization of the specimens. En bloc resection of bladder tumor is a novel surgical procedure that improves diagnostic feasibility and accuracy in the pathologic diagnosis of bladder cancer, including depth and extent of invasion.


To examine the prognostic value of multiple pT1 subclassification methods, using only en bloc resection specimens.


We examined 106 patients with T1 bladder cancer who underwent en bloc resection. The pT1 substages were assigned by 3 different subclassification methods by using the muscularis mucosae or stalk of the papillary lesion as diagnostic landmarks or millimetric depth of invasion. Intergroup differences in progression-free survival and recurrence-free survival rates were analyzed. The prognostic values of clinicopathologic factors for progression/recurrence were analyzed by using multivariate analysis.


The pT1 substage was evaluable in all cases. Tumors with invasion into/beyond the muscularis mucosae and those beyond the stalk of the papillary lesion were associated with worse progression-free survival (P = .002 and P = .01, respectively). Notably, no patient with invasion confined to the stalk had disease progression during the 23-month median follow-up period. Only the pT1 subclassification method using the muscularis mucosae was an independent prognosticator of progression in multivariate analysis (P = .03).


Precise pathologic subclassification of invasion using en bloc resection specimens may enable accurate prognosis and assessment in patients with bladder cancer with suspicious shallow invasion.

This content is only available as a PDF.

Author notes

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