Dr. med. Dirk Manski

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Malacoplakia: Chronic Infection of the Urinary Tract

Definition of Malacoplakia

Malacoplakia is a chronic infection/inflammation of the urinary tract, of the gastrointestinal tract and other organ systems, with the formation of whitish-gray deposits (Dasgupta et al, 1999) (Dalla-Palma and Pozzi-Mucelli, 2000).

Epidemiology of Malacoplakia

Malacoplakia is rare, the most common urological manifestation is the urinary bladder. Female : male ratio = 4:1

Etiology of Malacoplakia

The main risk factor for malacoplakia is a chronic urinary tract infection (in 90%). Further risk factors are immune deficiency, malignancy or other debilitating systemic disease (in 40%). Malacoplakia is probably caused by a defect in the bacterial decomposition within phagosomes, this leads to the formation of intracellular Michaelis-Gutmann bodies (see pathology).

Pathology of Malacoplakia


Typical malacoplakia lesions are whitish-gray, plaque-like protrusions of the mucosa with sometimes hemorrhagic rim. The lesion becomes indurated due to scarring. Most commonly, malacoplakia affects the urinary bladder in women, but in principle all urogenital organs might be involved.


Large histiocytes (Hansemann cells) with small basophilic intracytoplasmic inclusions (Michaelis-Gutmann bodies) of extracellular matrix are pathognomonic for malacoplakia.

Signs and Symptoms of Malacoplakia

Diagnostic Work-Up

Treatment of Malacoplakia

Antibiotic therapy:

Long-term antibiotic treatment with fluoroquinolones, co-trimoxazole, rifampin, sulfonamides, or doxycycline.

Surgical treatment:

Transurethral resection, internal ureteral stenting in case of hydronephrosis, nephrectomy in case of renal malacoplakia, depending on symptoms and organ function.

Prognosis of Malacoplakia

Patients with malacoplakia of the bladder or unilateral renal manifestation have a good prognosis after adequate treatment. However, there is a high mortality rate within six months, if a bilateral renal manifestation or malacoplakia of a renal transplant kidney is present.

Index: 1–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Dasgupta u.a. 1999 DASGUPTA, P. ; WOMACK, C. ; TURNER, A. G. ; BLACKFORD, H. N.:
Malacoplakia: von Hansemann’s disease.
In: BJU Int
84 (1999), Nr. 4, S. 464–9

Dalla-Palma und Pozzi-Mucelli 2000 DALLA-PALMA, L. ; POZZI-MUCELLI, F.:
[The imaging of chronic renal infections].
In: Radiologe
40 (2000), Nr. 6, S. 537–46

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