Cytomorphology, immunoprofile, and management of renal oncocytic neoplasms

Bing Zhu, Stephen M. Rohan, Xiaoqi Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The goal of this study was to evaluate the morphology, immunoprofile, and management of renal oncocytoma (RO), hybrid oncocytic tumor (HOT), and chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (ChRCC). Methods: Forty-seven cases of RO, 7 cases of HOT, and 25 cases of ChRCC were included in the study. Tissue microarrays were prepared for immunohistochemical evaluation. Results: Large sheets of cells with transverse vessels, and higher nuclear grade were seen more often in ChRCC than in RO or HOT. Tumor cells of RO were more uniform in size and shape relative to HOT and ChRCC. The cytoplasmic features of RO were more uniformly granular relative to HOT and ChRCC, which exhibited variable cytoplasmic features. CK7 and MUC1 were expressed more frequently and diffusely in ChRCC (54% and 94%, respectively) than RO (4% and 52%, respectively) and HOT (0% and 71%, respectively). AMACR and PAX8 were more frequently expressed diffusely in RO (67% and 42%, respectively) than in HOT (0% and 0%, respectively) or ChRCC (14% and 11%, respectively). Most HOT (57%) and CHRCC (60%) patients underwent nephrectomy. Cryoablation was the treatment of choice for 24% of patients with ChRCC, 2% of patients with RO, and 0% of patients with HOT. The majority of patients with RO (88%) opted for active surveillance—a much higher rate than that for patients with HOT (29%) or ChRCC (12%). Conclusion: Some cytologic features and immunomarkers are useful in differentiating RO, HOT, and ChRCC. Because no immunomarker or morphologic finding is specific by itself, a combination of morphologic features with immunohistochemistry appears to be the most reliable way to distinguish ChRCC, HOT, and RO on biopsy samples. Subclassification of renal oncocytic tumors into specific categories impacts clinical management and downstream treatment selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)962-970
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Cytopathology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • cytology
  • histology
  • immunohistochemistry
  • kidney
  • management
  • oncocytic neoplasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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