Cytopathology of uncommon malignant renal neoplasms in the pediatric age group

Diagn Cytopathol. 2005 May;32(5):281-6. doi: 10.1002/dc.20242.


Malignant renal neoplasms are common solid tumors in pediatric oncology practice. These include the common Wilms' tumor/nephroblastoma and the uncommon neoplasms such as clear-cell sarcoma of the kidney (CCSK), rhabdoid tumor, renal-cell carcinoma, and others. The aim of this study was to describe in detail the cytopathological features of the histopathologically proven uncommon pediatric renal tumors. Aspirates from Wilms' tumor, which are mesenchyme predominant, show clusters of spindle cells associated with the matrix material. Evidence of rhabdomyoblastic differentiation may be present. CCSK, classic subtype, is characterized by round to oval cells arranged perivascularly and also in sheets and clusters intimately associated with a metachromatic matrix mucopolysaccharide material better appreciated in May-Grunwald-Giemsa (MGG)-stained smears. The cells also have more abundant cytoplasm and may show nuclear grooves. Spindle-cell pattern of CCSK is difficult to diagnose on aspiration cytology. Renal-cell carcinoma of childhood shows similar cytological features as its adult counterpart. Rhabdoid tumor of the kidney is characterized by a monomorphic population of cells with abundant cytoplasm, eccentric nuclei with prominent nucleoli. Intrarenal yolk sac tumor is a rare neoplasm and shows severely pleomorphic cells on aspiration. Awareness of these entities is important for the practicing cytopathologist. Further, non-Wilms' renal malignant neoplasms must be distinguished from the common Wilms' tumor so that appropriate chemotherapy protocols may be instituted in cases where the tumor is in an advanced stage of malignancy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biopsy, Fine-Needle / methods*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / therapy
  • Cell Nucleus / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Endodermal Sinus Tumor / pathology*
  • Endodermal Sinus Tumor / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / therapy
  • Rhabdoid Tumor / pathology*
  • Rhabdoid Tumor / therapy
  • Sarcoma, Clear Cell / pathology*
  • Sarcoma, Clear Cell / therapy
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Wilms Tumor / pathology