Morphologic typing of papillary renal cell carcinoma: Comparison of growth kinetics and patient survival in 66 cases

Brett Delahunt, John N. Eble, Margaret R.E. McCredie, Peter B. Bethwaite, John H. Stewart, A. Michael Bilous

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258 Scopus citations


Whereas papillary renal cell carcinoma is now established as a subtype of renal cell neoplasia, division of these tumors into 2 distinctive morphotypes has been proposed. Type 1 tumors have cells with scanty pale cytoplasm arranged in a single layer on the basement membrane of papillary cores. In these tumors, psammoma bodies and foamy macrophages are frequently seen, and the tumors frequently express cytokeratin 7. Type 2 tumor cells have pseudostratified nuclei and usually have voluminous eosinophilic cytoplasm. Recent studies have supported this subclassification of papillary renal cell carcinoma by demonstrating differing genotypes for type 1 and 2 tumors. To further study the subclassification of papillary renal carcinoma, we compared clinical features, nuclear grade, stage, tumor growth kinetics, and survival in a series of 50 type 1 and 16 type 2 papillary renal cell carcinomas. Comparison of patient age at presentation, sex, and primary tumor size shows no significant difference between the 2 tumor types. Type 1 tumors were of significantly lower Fuhrman grade (P = .0001) and higher Robson stage (P = .009) than type 2 tumors. There was no significant difference when tumors were staged according to the TNM classification. Assessment of tumor growth kinetics showed significantly different mean silver-staining nucleolar organizer region (AgNOR) scores and Ki-67 indices (AgNOR type 1, 3.83, type 2, 7.24, P = .0001; Ki-67 type 1, 3.17%, type 2, 6.01%, P = .0002). Multivariate analysis showed tumor type (P = .03), presence of metastases (P = .04), AgNOR score (P = .001), and Ki-67 index (P = .03) to be independently associated with survival. These results provide evidence of the clinical utility of dividing papillary renal cell carcinomas into 2 types according to histologic characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-595
Number of pages6
JournalHuman pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


  • AgNOR
  • Grade
  • Growth kinetics
  • Ki-67
  • Papillary renal cell carcinoma
  • Stage
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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