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Leiomyosarcoma of the urinary bladder: a clinicopathological study of 34 cases


Background Leiomyosarcomas of the urinary bladder (LMS-UB) are rare, usually aggressive neoplasms. Owing to their rarity, only a limited number of cases with clinical follow-up information have been published. There is no current consensus on LMS-UB grading, and it is unknown whether the widely accepted Fédération Nationale des Centres de Lutte Contre le Cancer (FNCLCC) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) grading systems of soft-tissue sarcomas are applicable to LMS-UB.

Methods The authors studied 34 well-characterised LMS-UB and compared the prognostic power of the FNCLCC and NCI systems with that of one published grading scheme for LMS-UB (Mayo). All available slides from 34 LMS-UB were retrieved and evaluated with regards to degree of differentiation, mitotic rate/10 high-powered fields (HPF), and % necrosis. Cases were graded using published criteria for the FNCLCC, NCI and Mayo schemes. Follow-up information was obtained.

Results The tumours occurred in 17 females and 17 males, ranging from 31 to 91 years (median 65), and measured 2–12 cm in size. One tumour was well differentiated, 17 tumours were moderately differentiated, and 16 tumours were poorly differentiated. Mitotic rates ranged from 1 to >30/10 HPF (median 12/10 HPF), and tumours showed 0–60% necrosis (median 25%). FNCLCC grades were 1 (3), 2 (12) and 3 (19). NCI grades were 1 (2), 2 (11) and 3 (21). Mayo grades were low (7) and high (27). FNCLCC and NCI grades were identical in 23/34 cases (68%). Four cases were FNCLCC/NCI grade 2 or 3 and Mayo low-grade. Clinical follow-up was available for 25 of 34 patients (74%). Clinical follow-up of ≥12 months was available for 17 of these 25 cases (68%) with a median follow-up duration of 52 months (range 12–120 months). Adverse outcome was seen in nine of these 17 patients (53%). Seven of the eight cases (88%) with a clinical follow-up duration of <12 months died of their disease. Overall, adverse outcome was documented in 16 of 25 (64%) cases. Metastatic disease was seen in 13 of 25 (52%) cases, with the lungs being the most common site of metastasis (62%). Adverse outcome was noted in 15 of 23 (65%) of FNCLCC grade 2 or 3 LMS-UB, as compared with zero of two (0%) FNCLCC grade 1 tumours (p=0.15), in 15 of 23 (65%) NCI grade 2 or 3 LMS-UB, versus zero of two (0%) NCI grade 1 sarcomas (p=0.17) and in 13 of 20 (65%) Mayo high grade LMS-UB, as opposed to two of five (40%) low-grade lesions (all results not statistically significant).

Conclusions The authors conclude that LMS-UB occurs in older adults of either sex and is characterised by aggressive behaviour, with adverse outcome in >60% of cases. Certain advantages of the FNCLCC system may support its more widespread adoption for future studies.

  • Urinary bladder
  • leiomyosarcoma
  • soft tissue tumours
  • grading
  • bladder
  • sarcomas

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