Can renal oncocytoma be differentiated from its renal mimics? The utility of anti-mitochondrial, caveolin 1, CD63 and cytokeratin 14 antibodies in the differential diagnosis

Virchows Arch. 2005 Dec;447(6):938-46. doi: 10.1007/s00428-005-0048-6. Epub 2005 Aug 17.


Among the epithelial renal tumours with eosinophilic cytoplasm, the main differential diagnostic problem arises between renal oncocytomas (ROs) and eosinophilic variants of chromophobe renal cell carcinomas (RCCs). We investigated the possible role of anti-mitochondrial (AMA), anti-caveolin 1 (CAV1), anti-CD63 (CD63) and anti-cytokeratin 14 (CK14) antibodies in the differential diagnosis of eosinophilic epithelial tumours and applied the Muller and Mowry modification of Hale's colloidal iron stain (HCI). Thirty-five ROs and 77 eosinophilic RCCs (27 chromophobe, 28 clear cell and 22 papillary RCCs) were included in this study. Apical and/or polar CD63 immunostaining (94%) and diffuse AMA (91%) and CAV1 (88%) immunostainings were the characteristics of ROs, whereas diffuse CD63 immunostaining (96%) and diffuse-peripheral AMA (96%) and CAV1 (92%) immunostainings were characteristic immunohistochemical features of eosinophilic chromophobe RCCs. We showed CK14 antibody not to be useful in the differential diagnosis of the eosinophilic epithelial renal tumours. The staining localisations with AMA, CAV1 and CD63 antibodies were significantly different between tumour groups. AMA had 96% sensitivity and 94% specificity, whereas CAV1 had 92% sensitivity and 97% specificity in diagnosing chromophobe RCCs. With HCI staining, ROs, showing apical and/or polar staining, could be differentiated from chromophobe RCCs, showing diffuse cytoplasmic staining. HCI had fairly low (69%) sensitivity and 100% specificity, whereas CD63 had 95% sensitivity and 100% specificity to diagnose ROs. We recommend using CD63 as the best marker of choice for distinguishing ROs from eosinophilic chromophobe RCCs when standard diagnostic criteria are not helpful.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma, Oxyphilic / metabolism*
  • Adenoma, Oxyphilic / pathology*
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Keratins / metabolism
  • Kidney Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitochondria / immunology
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tetraspanin 30


  • Antigens, CD
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CD63 protein, human
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Tetraspanin 30
  • Keratins