Objectives. To assess the degree of correlation between the pathologic char
acteristics of the specimens obtained from biopsy and radical cystoprostate
ctomy. The stage and grade of bladder urothelial (transitional cell) carcin
oma are important predictors of prognosis.
Methods. We retrospectively identified 169 cases of urothelial carcinoma fr
om 222 radical cystectomies performed at University of Chicago Hospitals fr
om 1992 to 1999.
Results. For all the cases in this study, the histologic grade, using the 1
998 World Health Organization and International Society of Urological Patho
logists (WHO/ISUP) classification, was identical when the biopsy specimen a
nd radical cystectomy specimen were compared. However, when the same cases
were assessed using the traditional three-grade system, the histologic grad
e increased or decreased by one grade in 19 (11%) and 8 (5%) of 169 cases,
respectively. Patients with invasion of the lamina propria on biopsy had tu
mor extending outside the bladder in 15 (27%) of 55 cases. Patients with in
vasion of the muscularis propria on biopsy had tumor extending outside the
bladder in 47 (49%) of 96 cases, including nodal metastasis in 22 (23%) of
96 cases. Overall, bladder biopsy underestimated the true extent of the dis
ease in 78 (46%) of 169 cases.
Conclusions. Using either the WHO/ISUP (1998) classification or the traditi
onal three-grade system, the histologic grade of the biopsy specimen is a f
airly good predictor of the final histologic grade. The preoperative biopsy
tends to understage bladder cancer. Patients with muscularis propria invas
ion demonstrated by biopsy have a significantly higher risk of non-organ-co
nfined disease than those with lamina propria invasion. UROLOGY 57: 1063-10
67, 2001. (C) 2001, Elsevier Science Inc.