Virchows Archiv

, Volume 474, Issue 1, pp 13–20 | Cite as

Urachal carcinoma: from gross specimen to morphologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular analysis

  • Giulio RivaEmail author
  • Christine Mian
  • Claudio Luchini
  • Ilaria Girolami
  • Claudio Ghimenton
  • Luca Cima
  • Luca Novelli
  • Esther Hanspeter
  • Guido Mazzoleni
  • Christine Schwienbacher
  • Stefan Pycha
  • Carolina D’Elia
  • Emanuela Trenti
  • Armin Pycha
  • Guido Martignoni
  • Ondrej Hes
  • Albino Eccher
  • Gabriella Nesi
  • Matteo Brunelli
Original Article


Urachal carcinoma (UrC) is an exceedingly rare neoplasm that develops from the urachus, an embryologic remnant of the urogenital sinus and allantois. The most commonly encountered histologic subtype is adenocarcinoma. The aim of this study is to characterize a series of UrC by morphology, immunohistochemistry, and molecular analysis. We retrospectively investigated seven cases of UrCs and assessed patient symptoms, imaging, histologic features, immunohistochemical profile, molecular characteristics, pathologic stages, and type of treatment. Immunostaining for CK7, CK20, Muc-2, CDX2, GATA3, β-catenin, and CK34βE12 was carried out on each neoplasm and on seven non-neoplastic urachal remnants as the control group. Additionally, a mutational analysis was performed using the QIAact Actionable Insights Tumor Panel Kit, which analyzes KRAS, NRAS, KIT, BRAF, PDGFRA, ALK, EGFR, ERBB2, PIK3CA, ERBB3, ESR1, and RAF1. Our cohort comprised five females and two males with a mean age of 64 years. UrCs consisted of two mucinous cystadenocarcinomas and five invasive, non-cystic adenocarcinomas. Carcinoma antigen expression profile was positive for CK20 and negative for CK34βE12 and GATA3 in all cases. Five of seven cases stained positively for Muc-2 and CDX2. On the contrary, non-neoplastic urachal remnants were immunoreactive for CK34βE12, CK7, and GATA3. Mutational analysis gave a positive result in four out of seven (57.1%) cases. All four positive tumors showed RAS mutation and one an additional mutation in PIK3CA. Urachal tumors exhibit peculiar morphologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular features. Due to the advanced stage at presentation, individualized treatment should be undertaken.


Urachal carcinoma Immunohistochemistry Molecular RAS mutation 


Authors’ contributions

Riva G.: study design; data collection; data interpretation; manuscript preparation; literature search; review and approval of the final manuscript. Mian C.: study design; data collection; molecular analysis; data interpretation; review and approval of the final manuscript. Luchini C.: review and approval of the final manuscript. Girolami I.: review and approval of the final manuscript. Ghimenton C.: review and approval of the final manuscript. Cima L.: review and approval of the final manuscript. Novelli L.: review and approval of the final manuscript. Hanspeter E.: data collection; data interpretation; review and approval of the final manuscript. Mazzoleni G.: data collection; data interpretation; review and approval of the final manuscript. Schwienbacher C.: molecular analysis; data interpretation; review and approval of the final manuscript. Pycha S.: review and approval of the final manuscript. D’Elia C.: review and approval of the final manuscript. Trenti E.: review and approval of the final manuscript. Pycha A.: data collection; review and approval of the final manuscript. Eccher A.: study design; data collection; data interpretation; review and approval of the final manuscript. Nesi G.: review and approval of the final manuscript. Brunelli M.: review and approval of the final manuscript.


Internal Funding, Department of Pathology and Diagnostics, University and Hospital Trust of Verona, and Internal Funding, Department of Pathology, Central Hospital of Bolzano.

Compliance to ethical standards

Ethical approval

All the procedures for this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of local institution (authorization no 36-2018, Bolzano) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Informed consent

informed consent was acquired from patients in order to perform all investigations and to allow use of colected results.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giulio Riva
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christine Mian
    • 2
  • Claudio Luchini
    • 1
  • Ilaria Girolami
    • 1
  • Claudio Ghimenton
    • 1
  • Luca Cima
    • 1
  • Luca Novelli
    • 3
  • Esther Hanspeter
    • 2
  • Guido Mazzoleni
    • 2
  • Christine Schwienbacher
    • 2
  • Stefan Pycha
    • 4
  • Carolina D’Elia
    • 5
  • Emanuela Trenti
    • 5
  • Armin Pycha
    • 5
    • 6
  • Guido Martignoni
    • 1
    • 7
  • Ondrej Hes
    • 8
    • 9
  • Albino Eccher
    • 1
  • Gabriella Nesi
    • 10
  • Matteo Brunelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Pathology Unit, Department of Pathology and DiagnosticsUniversity and Hospital Trust of VeronaVeronaItaly
  2. 2.Department of PathologyCentral Hospital of BolzanoBolzanoItaly
  3. 3.Careggi HospitalInstitute of Histopathology and Molecular DiagnosisFlorenceItaly
  4. 4.Faculty of MedicineRiga Stradins UniversityRigaLatvia
  5. 5.FEBU, Department of UrologyCentral Hospital BolzanoBolzanoItaly
  6. 6.Medical SchoolSigmund Freud Private UniversityViennaAustria
  7. 7.Department of PathologyPederzoli HospitalPeschiera del GardaItaly
  8. 8.Sikl’s Institute of Pathological AnatomyUniversity Hospital PlzenPlzenCzech Republic
  9. 9.Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine PlzenCharles UniversityPlzenCzech Republic
  10. 10.Department of Experimental and Clinical MedicineUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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