Osteoclast-rich undifferentiated carcinomas of the urinary tract

Dilek Baydar, Mahul B. Amin, Jonathan I. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Osteoclast-like giant-cell neoplasms of the urinary tract are rare. They are composed of ovoid or spindle-shaped mononuclear cells with evenly spaced osteoclast-like giant cells. Terminology, histogenesis, and biologic behavior of these tumors remain controversial. Six cases of osteoclast-like giant-cell neoplasms of the urinary tract were identified from the consultation files of two of the authors. Patients were all male and elderly (range 65-82), with the exception of one 39-year-old male. In all, 3/6 tumors developed in the bladder and 3/6 in the renal pelvis. Size ranged from 5 to 11 cm. One bladder and three renal pelvis tumors were high stage (pT3) at time of presentation. Adjacent to the osteoclast-like giant-cell neoplasm in the same specimen, all patients had urothelial carcinoma in situ and/or high-grade papillary urothelial carcinoma. Multinucleated cells had identical morphological and immunohistochemical properties of osteoclasts; positive for CD-68, LCA, CD51 and CD54, and negative for cytokeratins and EMA. Varying percentages of mononuclear cells expressed α-smooth muscle actin (4/6), desmin (1/6), S-100 (4/6), LCA (2/6) and CD68 (6/6). However, mononuclear cells were also positive for epithelial markers in 4/6 tumors (cytokeratins AE-1/AE-3, Cam 5.2, CK7 and/or EMA). p53 stained mononuclear tumor cells in three cases, paralleling the staining on the accompanying urothelial carcinoma. Ki-67 stained mononuclear tumor cells, but not osteoclast-like giant cells. Follow-up data were available in five cases. One patient developed recurrence of noninvasive urothelial carcinoma and is still alive. Four patients were dead due to disease within 15 months, three with distant metastases. The intimate association of these tumors with urothelial carcinoma along with their immunohistochemical profile supports an epithelial origin for the mononuclear cells and non-neoplastic reactive histiocytic lineage for the osteoclast-like giant cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-171
Number of pages11
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Giant-cell carcinoma
  • Osteoclasts
  • Urothelial cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Osteoclast-rich undifferentiated carcinomas of the urinary tract'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this