Diagnosis of urothelial carcinoma in situ using blue light cystoscopy and the utility of immunohistochemistry in blue light-positive lesions diagnosed as atypical

Filippo Pederzoli, Belkiss Murati Amador, Iryna Samarska, Kara A. Lombardo, Max Kates, Trinity J. Bivalacqua, Andres Matoso*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Carcinoma in situ (CIS) is difficult to visualize with white light cystoscopy (WLC), whereas blue light cystoscopy (BLC) using photosensitizing agents improves detection rates. We retrospectively reviewed transurethral biopsies of bladder tumors in which both WLC and BLC evaluations were performed (n = 135 samples from 79 patients). Biopsies were classified based on the presence/absence of fluorescence under BLC and the final pathological report (CIS/benign/atypical). Forty-one (30%) cases were diagnosed as CIS; of those, 38 (93%) were BLC(+), including 23 that were WLC(-). Conversely, 51 (38%) lesions were BLC(+) but classified as non-CIS. Eleven BLC(+) cases were diagnosed as "atypical." These cases were anonymized and reviewed by 7 pathologists for concordance and then immunostained for CK20, p53, and Ki-67. Immunohistochemistry results were interpreted as consistent with CIS if there was full thickness staining of CK20, more than 50% p53-positive cells, and more than 50% Ki-67 positive cells. Review of BLC(+)/atypical cases showed a mean agreement of 79%, and none of the cases showed staining pattern consistent with CIS. Therefore, all 11 cases of BLC(+)/atypical were considered non-CIS for the final analysis. All patients with BLC(+)/atypical lesions had a history of intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guerin and/or mitomycin. Using final pathology as the reference, sensitivity, specificity, and negative predictive value of BLC were 93% (confidence interval [CI], 80.1%-98.5%), 46% (CI, 35.4%-56.3%), and 94% (CI, 82.5%-97.8%), respectively. The low specificity of BLC leads to BLC(+) lesions with atypical diagnosis. Morphological classification of these lesions is fairly consistent among different pathologists. Immunohistochemistry for p53/CK20/Ki-67 in this setting is only helpful to potentially avoid overcalling CIS. (C) 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Pathology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • Urothelial carcinoma in situ
  • Blue light cystoscopy
  • Photosensitizing agents
  • P53
  • KI-67
  • CK20

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