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Hum Pathol. 2011 Apr;42(4):489-99. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2010.08.010. Epub 2011 Jan 14.

Oncocytic adrenocortical neoplasms--a clinicopathologic study of 13 new cases emphasizing the importance of their recognition.

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Department of Anatomical Pathology, PathWest Laboratory Medicine, QEII Medical Centre, Hospital Ave, Nedlands, Western Australia 6009, Australia.


Oncocytic adrenocortical neoplasms (OANs) are a rare but important subtype of adrenal tumors with unique clinical and morphological features. We present 13 previously unpublished cases, of which 3 were classified as benign, 2 as having borderline malignant potential, and 8 as malignant according to the Lin-Weiss-Bisceglia criteria. Seven tumors (54%) showed evidence of endocrine activity. All were composed of more than 90% oncocytes confirmed immunohistochemically using the antimitochondrial antibody mES-13 and ultrastructurally in 4 cases. Small oncocytes were a frequent finding that challenges the conventional notion of oncocytes as necessarily having abundant cytoplasm. Most cases were immunoreactive for vimentin, synaptophysin, inhibin-α, melan A, and calretinin, the latter being a novel finding in this group of neoplasms. Cytokeratin positivity with AE1/AE3 and CAM5.2 was variable. The literature was comprehensively reviewed to identify all cases of OANs reported to date. Hormone production is not as uncommon as previously believed, occurring in 30%. The Lin-Weiss-Bisceglia criteria were retrospectively applied to all published cases with sufficient information and were shown to effectively separate tumors according to their future risk of recurrence and survival using Kaplan-Meier survival curves (log-rank test, P < .001 for both). The estimated overall median survival for malignant oncocytic neoplasms is 58 months (95% confidence interval = 27.5-88.5 months), providing the first preliminary evidence that the prognosis of malignant OANs is likely to be more favorable than conventional adrenocortical carcinomas, in which the reported median survival is between 14 and 32 months.

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