Should “suspicious for high-grade urothelial carcinoma” and “positive for high-grade urothelial carcinoma” remain separate categories?

Luan Nguyen, Neshat Nilforoushan, Jeffrey F. Krane, Shikha Bose, Rania Bakkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The Paris System (TPS) for Reporting Urinary Cytology aims to standardize urine cytology reporting. Per TPS, the diagnosis of “suspicious for high-grade urothelial carcinoma (SHGUC)” is applied in cases that have few urothelial cells with severe atypia but are quantitatively insufficient for a diagnosis of “high-grade urothelial carcinoma (HGUC).” In our study, we compared the diagnostic accuracy and risk of malignancy (ROM) of these 2 categories to assess whether they could be combined in clinical practice to perhaps improve overall interobserver variability. Methods: All urine specimens with a diagnosis of either SHGUC or HGUC from January 2016 to July 2019 were retrieved from the pathology database of 2 large academic institutions. Only cases with follow-up biopsies within 6 months were included. Results: One hundred eighty-nine cases met the study criteria. Of these, 122 had a cytologic diagnosis of SHGUC, and 67 had a diagnosis of HGUC. Ninety-five (78%) cases from the SHGUC group and 64 (96%) cases from the HGUC group had biopsy-proven HGUC. The majority of cases with discordance had a history of treatment with either intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guérin or mitomycin. The difference in the rate of biopsy-proven HGUC between the SHGUC category and the HGUC category (95/122 vs 64/67, respectively) was statistically significant (P <.001). Conclusions: The difference in ROM between SHGUC and HGUC was statistically significant in our study cohort. Intravesical chemotherapy was frequently observed in negative biopsy cases in both groups. Our preliminary findings suggest that the 2 TPS categories should remain separate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-163
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Cytopathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • The Paris system
  • cytopathology
  • high-grade
  • suspicious for high-grade
  • urinary cytology
  • urothelial carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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