A variety of glandular and clear cell lesions may be seen in the urinary bladder and/or urethra, ranging from benign to malignant primary and secondary tumors. Lesions with no malignant potential include reactive processes, such as nephrogenic metaplasia, and may show similar morphologic features as an infiltrative neoplasm, particularly in small biopsies. Similarly, ectopic tissues of Müllerian origin may be seen in the lower urinary tract, and their distinction from a true glandular neoplasm is essential to avoid overtreatment. A wide variety of primary and secondary malignant tumors exist with varying degrees of glandular and clear cell features. Therefore, surgical pathologists must be aware of the full scope of possible lesions to avoid misdiagnosis.


To provide a practical framework for approaching the diagnosis of clear cell and glandular lesions of the urinary bladder/urethra and prostate, highlighting the strengths and limitations of various diagnostic features and ancillary tests.

Data Sources.—

A review of the current literature was performed to obtain data regarding up-to-date diagnostic features and ancillary studies.


In summary, distinct morphologic and immunohistochemical features and clinical and radiologic correlation are essential to establish an accurate diagnosis when such cases with glandular and clear features are encountered in the lower urinary tract.

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Author notes

Presented at the New Frontiers in Pathology Conference; October 26–28, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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