Following the diagnosis of nephrogenic adenoma in a bladder lesion, which was later interpreted as early clear cell adenocarcinoma, the morphological and immunocytochemical features of these two lesions were reviewed to see if differences could be established for future diagnostic application. The architecture, extent, cell type, nuclear pleomorphism, presence of mitotic figures and glycogen content were recorded in 28 nephrogenic adenomas and the clear cell carcinoma. Similarly, the immunoreactivity for CAM 5.2, LP34, EMA and CEA of 10 nephrogenic adenomas and the clear cell carcinoma were compared. Proliferation rate in five nephrogenic adenomas and the carcinoma was assessed by antibody M1B1. Many of the features showed differences in degree or extent (clear cell change, nuclear pleomorphism, CAM 5.2 and CEA positivity). The only features distinct to clear cell carcinoma were the presence of solid islands, mitoses greater than 1/10 HPF (HPF area = 0.4 mm2) and M1B1 counts in excess of 29/200 in clear cell carcinoma (range 30/200-83/200). Only the high M1B1 count was present in the first biopsy of the clear cell carcinoma.