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Cytokeratin 7: a useful adjunct in the diagnosis of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Marie Mathers, Colin Marsh, Dr Marie O'Donnell


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Aims: The histopathological diagnosis of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma can present a diagnostic challenge, as these tumours can resemble either conventional renal cell carcinoma or oncocytoma. The aim of this study was to determine whether cytokeratin 7 expression is of practical use in the distinction of these three entities. Methods and results: A total of 40 cases previously diagnosed as either chromophobe renal cell carcinoma, conventional renal cell carcinoma or oncocytoma were identified. A representative section of each was stained with H&E and cytokeratin 7. Following independent review of the cases by three pathologists, a consensus diagnosis for each case was reached and the pattern of cytokeratin 7 staining was assessed. There were 12 cases of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma in the study, all of which showed a characteristic peripheral membrane pattern of staining for cytokeratin 7. Seventeen of the 18 cases of conventional renal cell carcinoma studied were negative for cytokeratin 7, while one case showed weak focal staining of <5% of the cells. The 10 cases of oncocytoma showed patchy weak to moderate cytoplasmic expression of cytokeratin 7, without the characteristic peripheral membrane accentuation seen in the chromophobe carcinomas. Conclusions: Immunohistochemical staining for cytokeratin 7 appears to be a useful adjunct in the diagnosis of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma, and in distinguishing this tumour from both oncocytoma and conventional renal cell carcinoma.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mathers ME, Pollock AM, Marsh C, O'Donnell M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Histopathology

Year: 2002

Volume: 40

Issue: 6

Pages: 563-567

ISSN (print): 0309-0167

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2559

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2559.2002.01397.x


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