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Nucleolar and argyrophilic nucleolar organizer region counts in urothelial carcinomas with special emphasis on grade II tumors

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Prognostic assessment of bladder carcinomas of intermediate differentiation is difficult. This study therefore investigated the prognostic values of nucleolar status and silver staining of argyrophilic nucleolar organizer regions (AgNORs) in grade II bladder carcinomas. In biopsies from 34 grade II transitional cell carcinomas of the urinary bladder the number of nuclei with nucleoli, the location of nucleoli within the nucleus and the number of AgNORs were determined in 1000 or 200 nuclei per section respectively. Ten biopsies showing normal urothelium, 18 cases with mild to severe atypia, 27 grade I, 34 grade II and 12 grade III transitional cell carcinomas were also studied. Significantly differing nucleolar and AgNOR values were found comparing normal urothelium/grade I carcinomas with severe urothelial atypia/grade III carcinomas. Grade II carcinomas, however, were inhomogeneous. One subgroup had nucleolar and AgNOR values resembling grade I carcinomas while the second group had values similar to those of grade III carcinomas. This subdivision of grade II carcinomas correlates with results reported for DNA-cytometry. The results suggest a subdivision of patients with grade II transitional cell carcinomas into a low risk and high risk group.

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Correspondence to B. Helpap.

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Helpap, B., Loesevitz, L. & Bulatko, A. Nucleolar and argyrophilic nucleolar organizer region counts in urothelial carcinomas with special emphasis on grade II tumors. Vichows Archiv A Pathol Anat 425, 265–269 (1994).

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Key words

  • Transitional cell carcinoma
  • Nucleoli
  • Argyrophilic nucleolar organizer regions