Vimentin reactivity in renal oncocytoma: Immunohistochemical study of 234 cases

Ondrej Hes, Michal Michal, Naoto Kuroda, Guido Martignoni, Matteo Brunelli, Yi Lu, Brian P. Adley, Isabel Alvarado-Cabrero, Ximing J. Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Context. - The expression of vimentin in benign renal oncocytomas has been controversal. However, this is of clinical significance because immunostains may be used in differential diagnosis of renal tumors on limited biopsy specimens. Using different staining and analysis methods, we studied vimentin immunoreactivity in a large series of renal oncocytomas with a special emphasis on the immunoreactivity patterns. Objective. - Immunohistochemical expression of vimentin has been used in the differential diagnosis of renal epithelial neoplasms. Although typically expressed in most renal cell carcinomas, the immunoreactivity of this intermediate filament in renal oncocytomas has been controversial. Design. - We studied vimentin immunoreactivity in a large series of 234 renal oncocytomas using 2 staining methods as well as manual and automated imaging analyses. Results. - We found that the focal vimentin immunoreactivity can be seen in most (72.6%) renal oncocytomas with vimentin-positive tumor celts usually found in the edge of a central scar or in small clusters scattered throughout the tumor. Computer-aided imaging analysis using ChromaVision Automatic Cellular Imaging System II confirmed the difference in vimentin immunoreactivity between oncocytoma and other renal neoplasms. Conclusions. - Our study of vimentin immunohistochemistry in a series of renal oncocytomas, which to our knowledge is the largest ever published, showed focal vimentin positivity detected in most oncocytomas. Because the vimentin staining patterns in renal oncocytomas are different from those seen in clear cell or papillary renal cell carcinomas, we consider vimentin staining to be helpful in the differential diagnosis of oncocytoma from other renal tumor mimics. Furthermore, strong vimentin positivity in a renal cell neoplasm does not exclude the diagnosis of renal oncocytoma, particularly in a limited biopsy specimen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1782-1788
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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