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Pathol Int. 2004 Jul;54(7):510-5.

Estrogen receptor is significantly associated with the epithelioid variants of renal angiomyolipoma: a clinicopathological and immunohistochemical study of 67 cases.

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Department of Pathology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.


Perivascular epithelioid cells (PEC) in angiomyolipoma (AML) were recently proposed to be its most common progenitor cells. Histologically, triphasic components were present in various proportions, but were overwhelmingly myogenic in epithelioid variants of AML. Despite histological discrimination, the immunophenotypic profiles between triphasic and epithelioid AML have never been compared. The aim of the present study was to clarify the identity of PEC by using immunoreactivity to estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), bcl-2 and placenta alkaline phosphatase (PLAP), and to use this information to compare triphasic and epithelioid AML. A total of 33 out of 67 cases of renal angiomyolipoma that underwent surgery were reviewed over the period 1998-2003. Two cases were associated with tuberous sclerosis. Ten patients had other malignant tumors, and three patients had a nodal extension. Immunohistochemistry showed that bcl-2 (59.4%), PLAP (46.9%), HMB-45 (100%) was predominantly localized around vessels. The stem cell markers were absolutely negative in all AML types. The estrogen receptors were positive in 14 cases (42.4%) and the progesterone receptors were positive in five cases. Bcl-2 and both female sex hormone receptors were significantly more frequent in the epithelioid variant of AML than in the triphasic type. Perivascular epithelioid cells express bcl-2, ER, PR and PLAP, and ER could be partly associated with myogenic proliferation.

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