Morphology & Grade

ICD-O-3 Morphology Codes

If the diagnostic term in the pathology report is not in the list below, be sure to consult ICD-O.

Transitional cell carcinoma

81203; most common morphology

Papillary carcinoma


Papillary and transitional cell carcinomas comprise 90-95% of all bladder cancers.

Squamous cell carcinoma (80703)

Occurs in 8% of all bladder carcinomas.

Adenocarcinoma (81403) of the bladder

Very rare (2%) and almost impossible to distinguish from primary prostate carcinoma which has extended into the bladder.


88903; rare tumor arising in the muscle layer of the bladder.

Key words:

Sessile (flat or attached by a broad base)

Infiltrating type; spread widely through the bladder wall and surrounding structures; less gross tumor formation in the bladder lumen.


Most bladder tumors; will often occur and recur in multiple sites within the bladder. Papillary carcinomas are more frequently single, firmer, have broader stalk than benign tumors and form large, bulky, cauliflower-like growths.

Synonyms for /2 behavior (carcinoma in situ, intraepithelial, noninfiltrating, noninvasive): CIS, Stage 0, confined to epithelium, intraepithelial, involvement up to but not including the basement membrane, noninfiltrating, noninvasive, no stromal involvement, papillary noninfiltrating, noninvasive papillary, and, uniquely for bladder, stage "Ta".