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Am J Surg Pathol. 1998 Jun;22(6):663-72.

Carcinomalike monotypic epithelioid angiomyolipoma in patients without evidence of tuberous sclerosis: a clinicopathologic and genetic study.

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  • 1Istituto di Anatomia Patologica, Universit√† di Verona, Italy.


We report the clinicopathologic, immunohistochemical, ultrastructural, and genetic features of an unusual renal tumor composed of large, atypical, densely packed, clear/eosinophilic epithelioid cells. Three patients, two men and one woman (ages 31, 36, and 60 years of age, respectively), had abdominal pain. Morphologically, all cases showed aggressive features (largeness, atypical cells, sarcomatoid features, necrosis, and, in one case, invasion of the renal vein). Despite the marked morphologic resemblance of these tumors to high-grade sarcomatoid renal cell carcinoma, their phenotype (HMB45+, CD68+/-, actin+/-, and vimentin and keratin negative) is in contrast to that observed in epithelial tumors and parallels the phenotypic profile of angiomyolipoma. Ultrastructural analysis showed the presence of glycogen, mitochondria, and prominent electron-dense, membrane-bound granules in the neoplastic cells, and the absence of melanosomes or premelanosomes. Genetic study, performed using polymerase chain reaction from paraffin sections, showed a loss of heterozygosity at the TSC2-containing region on 16p in one case, and on 3p in two cases, showing that multiple genetic alterations are taking place in these tumors. Follow-up has shown local recurrence in one case after 6 years, and the patient died 1 year later of cardiorespiratory failure. The other two patients are well after 26 and 10 months. All three patients were evaluated for signs of tuberous sclerosis, and findings were negative. We suggest that these tumors should be considered close relatives of the angiomyolipoma variants, composed purely of perivascular epithelioid cells. More cases and longer follow-up durations are needed to fully evaluate its prognostic implication.

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