Renal epithelioid angiomyolipoma with atypia: A series of 40 cases with emphasis on clinicopathologic prognostic indicators of malignancy

Fadi Brimo, Brian Robinson, Charles Guo, Ming Zhou, Matthieu Latour, Jonathan I. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Scopus citations


As epithelioid cellular morphology can be seen in clinically benign usual angiomyolipomas (AMLs), we divide epithelioid AMLs into those without and with atypia, the latter category associated in the literature with malignant potential. We herein report the histologic spectrum and biologic behavior of 40 consecutive cases of epithelioid AML with atypia and assess whether cases can be stratified prognostically based on clinical and pathologic features. Atypical epithelioid cells were defined as atypical polygonal cells with abundant cytoplasm, vesicular nuclei, prominent nucleoli, and nuclear size that exceeds ×2 the size of adjacent nuclei. The degree of atypia was divided to moderate and severe. Cases with bland epithelioid cells with minimal variation in nuclear size were not included. Mean age was 50.5 years (range 17 to 81), and the female to male ratio was 1.6:1. Average tumor size was 7.2cm (range 1.0 to 17.7). The percentage of epithelioid component ranged from 5%-100% (mean 68%). Of the epithelioid component, the percentage of cells exhibiting nuclear atypia ranged in individual cases from 5% to 100% (mean of 58.4% atypical cells); 26/40 (65%) cases showed severe nuclear atypia. Cells displaying severe nuclear atypia were typically of large size with abundant cytoplasm, compared with those with moderate atypia being of small to intermediate in size with scant to moderate amount of cytoplasm. Neoplastic multinucleated giant cells and necrosis was present in 22 cases (55%) and 15 cases (37.5%), respectively. Mitoses were identified in 72.5% (29/40) of cases and ranged from 1 to 6 per 10hpf with 7 cases showing atypical mitotic figures. Lymphovascular invasion or renal vein invasion was present in 3 cases each. Hilar and perinephric fat involvement was present in 5 and 6 cases, respectively. Clinical follow-up was available in 34 out of the 40 cases. Of the 34 cases, 9 (26%) were malignant and showed local recurrence or distant metastases. Of the 9 patients with malignant tumors, 4 died of the disease at 6, 12, 15, and 34 months after the original diagnosis was rendered, and 4 were alive with disease (mean follow-up period of 52mo, range 24 to 72mo). Twenty-four patients showed no evidence of recurrence and/or metastases with a mean follow-up period of 34 months (range 1 to 156mo). We compared the 21 cases of atypical epithelioid AMLs that exhibited a benign clinical course with a minimum follow-up period of 6 months postsurgery to the 9 cases with malignant behavior. All of these were more frequently observed in clinically malignant cases: older age, larger tumor size, higher percentage of epithelioid component, severe atypia, higher percentage of atypical cells, higher mitotic count, atypical mitotic figures, necrosis, lymphovascular invasion, and renal vein invasion. Using these features, we developed a predictive model of 4 atypical features that included: (1) ≥70% atypical epithelioid cells, (2) ≥2 mitotic figures per 10hpf, (3) atypical mitotic figures, and (4) necrosis; the presence of 3 or all of the features was highly predictive of malignant behavior. This model accurately categorized 78% of clinically malignant and 100% of the clinically benign epithelioid AMLs with atypia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-722
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2010


  • Angiomyolipoma
  • Epithelioid
  • Kidney
  • Malignant
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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