Encyclopedia of Pathology

Living Edition
| Editors: J.H.J.M. van Krieken

Inflammation of Littre’s Glands

  • Caterina Fattorini
  • Antonio Lopez-Beltran
  • Maria Rosaria RaspolliniEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28845-1_4831-1



Inflammation of periurethral glands of Littre (tubule-acinar mucinous glands located along the urethra that secrete mucus and are most numerous in the section of the urethra that runs through the penis).

Clinical Features

  • Incidence

    Very rare

  • Age

    Young adults mainly

  • Sex


  • Site and Presentation

    Patients usually report pain or discomfort during urination and urinalysis highlights an increase of leukocytes. Sometimes it presents with a firm small nodule of the penis or urethra (Krawitt and Schechterman 1977).

  • Treatment

    The therapy is symptomatic. If the inflammation process appears as a nodule, excision of the lesion is required due to the differential diagnosis with neoplastic masses.

  • Outcome

    Excellent prognosis


The nodular presentation is more relevant in pathology practice and appears as a small tan nodule. The cut surface displays a honeycomb pattern.


The Littre’s gland lumen is occupied with mucus and inflammatory cells. In the surrounding stroma, there is a dense inflammatory infiltrate composed of neutrophils, lymphocytes, and plasma cells. The stroma also displays collagen deposition and dilated vascular channels.

Differential Diagnosis

Inflammation of Littre’s glands may simulate a tumor when present as a nodule (tumorlike condition) (Goldblum et al. 2017). However the histologic appearance is straightforward.

References and Further Reading

  1. Goldblum, J., Lamps, L., McKenney, J., & Myers, J. (2017). Rosai and Ackerman’s surgical pathology (11th ed.). Philadelphia: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  2. Krawitt, L. N., & Schechterman, L. (1977). Inflammation of the periurethral glands of Littre simulating tumor. The Journal of Urology, 118, 685.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caterina Fattorini
    • 1
  • Antonio Lopez-Beltran
    • 2
    • 3
  • Maria Rosaria Raspollini
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Histopathology and Molecular DiagnosticsUniversity Hospital CareggiFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Pathology ServiceChampalimaud Clinical CenterLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Unit of Anatomic Pathology, Department of SurgeryCordoba University Medical SchoolCordobaSpain