Accuracy of urine cytology and the significance of an atypical category.
The "atypical urothelial cell" cytologic category is nonstandardized. We subclassify atypical cases to "atypical, favor a reactive process" or "atypical, unclear if reactive or neoplastic." We evaluated the predictive significance of atypical cases by looking at their histologic follow-up. Among the 1,114 patients and 3,261 specimens included, 282 specimens had histologic follow-up. An atypical diagnosis did not carry a significant increased risk of urothelial neoplasia compared with the benign category. Although an "atypical unclear" diagnosis carried a higher rate of detection of high-grade cancer on follow-up biopsy in comparison with "atypical reactive" or "negative" diagnoses (26/58 [45%] vs 15/52 [29%] and 16/103 [15.5%], respectively), this difference was not statistically significant. These results suggest that dividing atypical cases into 2 categories based on the level of cytologic suspicion of cancer does not add clinically relevant information within the atypical category. They also raise the question of the significance of the atypical category altogether.
Brimo, F; Vollmer, RT; Case, B; Aprikian, A; Kassouf, W; Auger, M
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