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Papillary Renal Neoplasm With Reverse Polarity

A Morphologic, Immunohistochemical, and Molecular Study

Al-Obaidy, Khaleel I. MD*; Eble, John N. MD*; Cheng, Liang MD*; Williamson, Sean R. MD; Sakr, Wael A. MD; Gupta, Nilesh MD; Idrees, Muhammad T. MBBS*; Grignon, David J. MD*

The American Journal of Surgical Pathology: August 2019 - Volume 43 - Issue 8 - p 1099–1111
doi: 10.1097/PAS.0000000000001288
Original Articles

We evaluated the clinicopathologic and chromosomal characteristics of a distinct subset of papillary renal tumors and compared them to a control series of papillary renal cell carcinoma types 1 and 2. Of the 18 patients, 9 were women and 9 were men, ranging in age from 46 to 80 years (mean, 64 y; median, 66 y). The tumors ranged in diameter from 0.6 to 3 cm (mean, 1.63 cm; median, 1.4 cm). Fourteen tumors were WHO/ISUP grade 2 and 4 were grade 1. All were stage category pT1. The tumors had branching papillae with thin fibrovascular cores, covered by cuboidal to columnar cells with granular eosinophilic cytoplasm, smooth luminal borders, and mostly regular and apically located nuclei with occasional nuclear clearing and inconspicuous nucleoli. Tubule formation and clear cytoplasmic vacuoles were observed in 5 and 9 tumors, respectively. Ten tumors had pseudocapsules. Psammoma bodies, necrosis, mitotic figures and intracellular hemosiderin are absent from all tumors. In contrast, papillary renal cell carcinoma type 1 consisted of delicate papillae covered by a single layer of cells with scanty pale cytoplasm with nuclei generally located in a single layer on the basement membrane of the papillary cores, while type 2 tumors had broad papillae covered by pseudostratified cells with eosinophilic cytoplasm and more randomly located nuclei. Both had occasional psammoma bodies, foamy macrophages and intracellular hemosiderin. Immunohistochemically, all were positive for pancytokeratin AE1/AE3, epithelial membrane antigen, MUC1, CD10, GATA3, and L1CAM. Cytokeratin 7 was positive in 16 tumors (1 had <5% positivity). CD117 and vimentin were always negative. α-methylacyl-CoA-racemase (AMACR/p504s) showed variable staining (range, 10% to 80%) in 5 tumors. However, all tumors in the control group were negative for GATA3 and positive for AMACR/p504s and vimentin immunostains. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of the study group demonstrated chromosome 7 trisomy in 5 tumors (33%), trisomy 17 in 5 tumors (33%), and trisomy 7 and 17 in 3 tumors (20%). Chromosome Y deletion was found in 1 of 7 male patients and chromosome 3p was present in all tumors. No tumor recurrence or metastasis occurred. In summary, we propose the term papillary renal neoplasm with reverse polarity for this entity.

*Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN

Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Henry Ford Health System

Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Wayne State University/Harper University Hospital, Detroit, MI

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Correspondence: David J. Grignon, MD, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, 350 W 11th Street, Room 6014, Indianapolis, IN 46202 (e-mail:

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