Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) with rhabdoid morphology (RCC-RM) is a recently described variant of RCC, which has an aggressive biologic behavior and poor prognosis, akin to sarcomatoid RCC. The current World Health Organization classification of RCC does not include the rhabdoid phenotype as a distinct histologic entity. The aim of this study is to investigate whether RCC-RM represents a dedifferentiation of a classifiable-type World Health Organization RCC or a carcinosarcoma with muscle differentiation. We reviewed 168 cases of RCC obtained between 2003 and 2008. From these cases, 10 (6%) were found to have areas of classic rhabdoid morphology. Immunohistochemistry for cytokeratin, epithelial membrane antigen, desmin, CD10, and CD117 was performed in each case using the labeled streptavidin-biotin method. Rhabdoid differentiation was identified in association with conventional-type RCC (9) and with unclassifiable-type RCC with spindle cell morphology (1). In all cases, both the rhabdoid and nonrhabdoid tumoral areas were positive for cytokeratin and epithelial membrane antigen and negative for desmin. Cytokeratin positivity in the rhabdoid areas was focal. In cases associated with conventional-type RCC, CD10 was positive in both the rhabdoid and nonrhabdoid foci. CD117 was negative in these tumors. The unclassifiable-type RCC with spindle cell morphology was negative for both CD10 and CD117. The similar immunophenotype between the rhabdoid and nonrhabdoid tumoral foci supports the origin of the rhabdoid cells from the classifiable-type RCC. Areas of rhabdoid morphology do not represent muscle metaplastic differentiation. Renal cell carcinoma with rhabdoid morphology may represent a dedifferentiation of a classifiable-type RCC, similar to that of sarcomatoid differentiation. The recognition of RCC-RM is important as it allows for the inclusion of these high-grade malignancies into a category associated with poor prognosis despite lacking the spindle cell component classically identified as sarcomatoid change.
- Renal cell carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine