Pathologic characterization of renal epithelial neoplasms arising in nonfunctioning kidneys

Xiaoqi Lin, Rajen Goyal, Ximing J. Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Nonfunctioning kidneys secondary to various etiologies display different histopathological features. Studies focused on incidence and types of renal neoplasms using the new World Health Organization and International Society of Urological Pathology classification system in various types of nonfunctioning kidneys are very limited. We identified 311 nephrectomies of nonfunctioning kidneys and categorized them into 5 categories: acquired cystic kidney disease (ACKD, n = 61); end-stage renal disease, nonspecific (ESRD, n = 63); adult polycystic kidney disease (APKD, n = 49); failed transplant kidney (FTK, n = 96); and those caused by obstructive conditions in the kidney (OCK, n = 42). ACKD (70%) and ESRD (43%) had higher cancer incidences than the other 3 groups (APKD = 2%, FTK = 0%, and OCK = 5%). Besides clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and papillary RCC, clear cell papillary RCC had a much higher incidence within ACKD patients (13/61) compared to other groups. ACKD-associated RCC was only identified in ACKD patients. ACKD patients had significantly longer dialysis duration compared to ESRD, APKD, and FTK. Although they had similar risk for clear cell RCC and papillary RCC, ACKD patients had a much higher risk for ACKD-associated RCC and clear cell papillary RCC than ESRD patients. Although most RCCs arising in these nonfunctioning kidneys were early pT1 stage, 6 ACKD patients and 3 ESRD patients had higher-stage diseases, which can be fatal if not treated appropriately. Therefore, precise clinicopathological classification of these nonfunctioning kidneys is important for predicting kidney cancer risk. These results indicate the need for active monitoring of the patients with high-risk nonfunctioning kidney diseases and appropriate surgical treatment when necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalHuman pathology
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • End-stage renal disease
  • Histology
  • Incidence
  • Nonfunctioning kidney
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Renal epithelial neoplasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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