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Application of Immunohistochemistry to the Diagnosis of Kidney Tumors

Al-Ghawi, Hayma MD*; Asojo, Oluyomi A. MD*; Truong, Luan D. MD†‡; Ro, Jae Y. MD, PhD†‡; Ayala, Alberto G. MD†‡; Zhai, Qihui Jim MD

doi: 10.1097/PCR.0b013e3181d51c70

Multiple morphologic subtypes of renal cell carcinoma exist and management protocols are dependent on each subtype. Therefore, it is paramount to distinguish one subtype from another. In the setting of metastatic carcinoma, primarily kidney should be considered with the appropriate histologic features. Diagnostic immunohistochemistry (IHC) is crucial in these clinical settings. Immunohistochemical stains such as RCCM, CD10, cadherins, PAX-2, PAX-8, cytokeratins, vimentin, EMA, c-Kit, TFE-3, and alpha-methylacyl-CoA racemase in addition to other IHC markers serve as essential tools to the surgical pathologist. This article addresses the frequently used IHC markers and their applications in common diagnostic problems encountered in the diagnosis of kidney tumors.

From the *Department of Pathology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH; †Department of Pathology, The Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX; ‡Department of Pathology, Weill College of Medicine of Cornell University, New York, NY; and §Greater Cincinnati Pathologists, Inc, Cincinnati, OH.

Reprints: Qihui Jim Zhai, MD, FCAP, Department of Pathology, University of Cincinnati, 231 Albert Sabin Way, Room 1358, ML 0529, Cincinnati, OH 45267. E-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.