Renal cell carcinoma with angioleiomyoma-like stroma and clear cell papillary renal cell carcinoma: exploring SDHB protein immunohistochemistry and the relationship to tuberous sclerosis complex.

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Human pathology


Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) with angioleiomyoma-like stroma appears to be molecularly distinct from clear cell RCC; however, its relationship to clear cell papillary RCC remains debated. Recent studies have found that similar tumors sometimes occur in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), of which 1 study found unexpectedly negative succinate dehydrogenase B (SDHB) immunostaining. We evaluated immunohistochemistry for SDHB in 12 apparently sporadic RCCs with angioleiomyoma-like stroma and correlated with clinical information for stigmata of TSC. Tumors were compared with a group of 16 clear cell papillary RCCs and 6 unclassified tumors with prominent stroma. With the exception of 1 unclassified tumor, all exhibited at least focal cytoplasmic staining for SDHB protein, often requiring high magnification and better appreciated with increased antibody concentration. Detailed history information was available for 9 of 11 patients with smooth muscle-rich tumors, revealing no stigmata of undiagnosed TSC. Electron microscopy performed on 1 of these tumors revealed mitochondria to be very sparse, potentially accounting for the weak immunohistochemical labeling for SDHB protein. Weak SDHB immunostaining may represent another shared feature of RCC with angioleiomyoma-like stroma and clear cell papillary RCC, likely due to sparse mitochondria, strengthening the possible relationship of these entities. Although smooth muscle-rich tumors have been recently reported in patients with TSC, absence of staining in tumors with this pattern may not be specific for TSC. In tumors with pale or clear cytoplasm, immunohistochemical staining for SDHB should be interpreted with caution as evidence of abnormality in the SDH pathway.

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Biomarkers, Tumor; Carcinoma, Renal Cell; Humans; Immunohistochemistry; Kidney Neoplasms; Succinate Dehydrogenase; Tuberous Sclerosis

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