Bladder cancers invading the muscularis mucosae (MM) are treated differently from those invading the muscularis propria (MP). However, it may be difficult to determine the type of smooth muscle in transurethral resection (TUR) or biopsy specimens. We aimed to investigate the clinicopathologic features of bladder cancers involving smooth muscle of indeterminate type (SMIT) in TUR specimens in comparison with those invading the MM.
We identified 103 patients with bladder cancer involving SMIT (n = 27) or the MM (n = 76) in TUR specimens. All patients underwent subsequent restaging TUR or cystectomy.
Bladder cancer with SMIT invasion showed a significantly higher rate of MP invasion in the subsequent specimens than those invading the MM (52% vs 29%). Lack of MP in the TUR specimens had a significantly higher risk of MP invasion in the subsequent specimens than those with the MP (61% vs 40%). The overall survival time for patients with SMIT invasion was significantly shorter than those with MM invasion.
Bladder cancers with SMIT invasion in TUR specimens show more frequent cancer upstaging in the subsequent specimens and a poorer clinical outcome than those invading the MM, which highlights the importance of a cancer restaging procedure for these patients.