Background Recurrent transitional cell bladder cancer (TCBC) can metastasize to the GI tract albeit uncommonly. This is the first report of the EUS appearance of metastatic TCBC to the GI tract. In addition to describing the EUS features of recurrent metastatic TCBC, this study determined the number of patients referred for evaluation of a primary GI luminal cancer in which EUS instead established the diagnosis of metastatic recurrent TCBC. Methods Patients referred from July 2000 through April 2004 for EUS evaluation of a suspected primary GI luminal cancer were retrospectively reviewed. For patients with an established diagnosis of recurrent metastatic TCBC, EUS images were retrospectively reviewed to identify characteristic features. Results Of 2216 patients undergoing EUS to evaluate a suspected primary GI luminal cancer, 3 men (0.14%: 95% confidence interval [0.02%, 0.29%]) (mean age 67 years, range 54-74 years) were found instead to have recurrent metastatic TCBC involving the duodenum (n = 1) or rectum (n = 2). The patients presented a mean of 32 months after diagnosis of the primary TCBC with change in bowel habit (n = 1) and symptoms of bowel obstruction (n = 2). In each patient, initial endoscopy revealed circumferential luminal stenosis and mucosal erythema, but mucosal biopsy specimens revealed normal tissue. EUS demonstrated hypoechoic, symmetric, circumferential wall thickening, loss of deep wall layers, and pseudopodia-like extensions into the peri-intestinal tissues. In the two patients with rectal involvement, no evidence of direct infiltration from the bladder bed was seen. EUS-guided FNA was diagnostic of metastatic TCBC in all patients. Conclusions Although most cases of hypoechoic bowel-wall thickening and stenosis are from primary GI neoplasia, recurrent TCBC should be considered in patients with a history of this tumor. Correct diagnosis is important, because this allows selection of appropriate therapeutic interventions. Although firm EUS criteria for TCBC cannot be established based on findings in 3 patients, certain features may prove useful. EUS-guided FNA can confirm the diagnosis.