Kidney tumor

Adult renal cell carcinoma - common

Papillary oncocytic variant

Last author update: 1 June 2015
Last staff update: 9 November 2023 (update in progress)

Copyright: 2003-2024,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Adult papillary renal tumor oncocytic cells

Nicole K. Andeen, M.D.
Maria Tretiakova, M.D., Ph.D.
Page views in 2023: 7,325
Page views in 2024 to date: 1,013
Cite this page: Andeen NK, Tretiakova M. Papillary oncocytic variant. website. Accessed February 22nd, 2024.
Definition / general
  • Kidney
Clinical features
Case reports
  • Resection
Gross description
  • Median 3 cm, well circumscribed, no extrarenal extension
Gross images

Contributed by Nicole K. Andeen, M.D.

Papillary renal cell carcinoma with oncocytic cells

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Thin, nonfibrotic papillae lined by single layer of oncocytic cells
  • Low grade, round, regular, nonoverlapping nuclei with central nucleolus (Am J Surg Pathol 2005;29:1576)
  • Abundant granular eosinophilic cytoplasm
  • Variable foamy macrophages within papillae
  • Hemosiderin accumulation, focal necrosis
  • May have luminal orientation of tumor nuclei (Pathol Int 2009;59:137) or solid oncocytoma-like areas (Ann Diagn Pathol 2006;10:133)
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Nicole K. Andeen, M.D. and Maria Tretiakova, M.D., Ph.D.

Papillary type 1 oncocytic renal cell carcinoma

Contributed by Semir Vranić, M.D., Ph.D., University of Sarajevo (Bosnia)

Oncocytic "variant" of papillary renal cell carcinoma

Images hosted on other servers:

Racemase, CD10, vimentin, MET

Positive stains
Negative stains
Electron microscopy description
Molecular / cytogenetics description
Differential diagnosis
  • Oncocytoma: no papillary architecture, no necrosis; negative for vimentin, CD10, AMACR, CK7; positive for c-kit / CD117
  • Papillary adenoma with oncocytic cells: 15 mm (1.5 cm) or less (size criteria)
  • Papillary type 1 tumors: single layer of cells lining papillae but with pale basophilic cytoplasm, strong diffuse CK7 positivity
  • Papillary type 2 tumors: higher nuclear grade, crowded and pseudostratified nuclei
Back to top
Image 01 Image 02