Stains & molecular markers
Vimentin

Editor-in-Chief: Debra L. Zynger, M.D.
Riuko Ohashi, M.D.

Minor changes: 12 April 2021

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PubMed Search: Vimentin[TI] review[PT]

Riuko Ohashi, M.D.
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Cite this page: Ohashi R. Vimentin. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/stainsvimentin.html. Accessed April 15th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Intermediate filament for mesenchymal tissue
Essential features
  • Vimentin staining confirms mesenchymal origin of some tumors but there are numerous exceptions, so relatively nonspecific
  • Carcinomas and epithelial tumors are usually negative but there are many exceptions
  • Thus, helps distinguish renal cell carcinoma and uterine carcinoma as part of panel
Pathophysiology
Interpretation
  • Cytoplasmic staining
Uses by pathologists
  • Vimentin staining confirms mesenchymal origin of some tumors; may be the only positive stain in certain cases and thus confirms that the tissue is capable of staining (Am J Surg Pathol 2011;35:1722)
  • May confirm mesenchymal origin but there are numerous exceptions, so relatively nonspecific
  • Helps distinguish clear cell renal cell carcinoma (CCRCC) from mimics as part of panel
  • Absence of vimentin staining may confirm that fat-like or other spaces actually lack a cellular lining (Am J Surg Pathol 2011;35:1823)
  • Distinguishes endocervical adenocarcinoma (vimentin negative) and endometrial carcinoma (vimentin positive), as part of panel (Am J Surg Pathol 2010;34:915)
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Riuko Ohashi, M.D.
Ewing sarcoma / PNET Ewing sarcoma / PNET

Ewing sarcoma / PNET

Malignant mesothelioma, epithelioid type Malignant mesothelioma, epithelioid type

Malignant mesothelioma, epithelioid type

Clear cell renal cell carcinoma Clear cell renal cell carcinoma

Clear cell renal cell carcinoma


Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma with sarcomatoid differentiation Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma with sarcomatoid differentiation

Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma with sarcomatoid differentiation

Oncocytoma Oncocytoma

Oncocytoma

Nonneoplastic endometrial tissue Nonneoplastic endometrial tissue

Nonneoplastic endometrial tissue


Endometrioid carcinoma Endometrioid carcinoma

Endometrioid carcinoma

Endocervical adenocarcinoma, negative Endocervical adenocarcinoma, negative

Endocervical adenocarcinoma, negative



Contributed by Dr. Steven Catinchi-Jaime, Mowafak Hamodat, M.B.Ch.B., AFIP images and Cases #149, 184, 216, 222 and 241

CNS: alveolar
soft parts sarcoma
(metastasis from
tongue tumor)

CNS: medulloepithelioma

Larynx: squamous cell carcinoma

Ovary: signet ring stromal tumor

Testis: Leydig cell tumor

Thyroid gland: angiosarcoma


Vulva:
angiomyofibroblastoma

Positive staining - normal
Positive staining - disease
Negative staining
Sample pathology report
  • Left kidney, tumor, core needle biopsy:
    • Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma, eosinophilic variant (see comment)
    • Comment: Epithelial tumor showing solid growth pattern composed of comprised of eosinophilic cells with fine granular eosinophilic cytoplasm, perinuclear halo and round, oval to raisinoid nuclei. No pale cell was observed. Immunohistochemistry positive for CK7 and c-kit and negative for vimentin. These findings are consistent with chromophobe renal cell carcinoma.
  • Right lung, tumor, excision:
    • Metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (see comment)
    • Comment: Immunohistochemistry positive for vimentin, PAX8, CAIX and RCC and negative for CK7.
  • Left lung, tumor, excision:
    • Consistent with metastatic endometrioid carcinoma (see comment)
    • Comment: Immunohistochemistry positive for vimentin, PAX8 and ER and negative for TTF1, consistent with endometrial primary.
Board review style question #1


A 56 year old female is found to have a uterine tumor that involves both the endometrium and the endocervix. Histology and immunohistochemistry for vimentin are shown. Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis?

  1. Endocervical adenocarcinoma
  2. Endometrioid adenocarcinoma
  3. Endometrial stromal tumor
  4. Carcinosarcoma
Board review style answer #1
B. Endometrioid adenocarcinoma

Comment Here

Reference: Vimentin
Board review style question #2
Which of the following tumors should be negative for vimentin?

  1. Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma
  2. Clear cell renal cell carcinoma
  3. Endometrioid carcinoma
  4. Mammary analog secretory carcinoma
Board review style answer #2
A. Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma. While most carcinomas are negative for vimentin, mammary analog secretory carcinoma, most endometrial carcinomas and most renal cell carcinomas, except for chromophobe renal cell carcinoma, are positive for vimentin.

Comment Here

Reference: Vimentin
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