Passive seeding in metanephric adenoma: a review of pseudometastatic lesions in perinephric lymph nodes

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2005 Oct;129(10):1317-21. doi: 10.5858/2005-129-1317-PSIMAA.


Lymph node involvement derived from a discrete neoplastic process fundamentally implies tumor malignancy. However, rarely, inconsequential passive transport of benign neoplastic cells to the lymph node can occur and may cause confusion as to the nature of the neoplasm (ie, malignant vs benign). We describe a 10-cm right renal metanephric adenoma incidentally discovered in a 30-year-old woman during cesarean section for a triplet pregnancy. Subsequent nephrectomy following an equivocal needle biopsy diagnosis showed histologic features classic for metanephric adenoma, including the lack of cytologic atypia and mitoses. Necrosis present in this lesion appeared to be secondary to tumor physical disruption. The tumor cells were positive for Wilms tumor 1 (WT1) antigen, pankeratin, and CD57, focally positive for epithelial membrane antigen, and negative for cytokeratin 7, cytokeratin 34betaE12, and CD56. Electron microscopy confirmed the tumor's epithelial nature, and cytogenetics revealed a diploid 46XX karyotype. The tumor proliferation index with Ki-67 was only 3% to 5% and the proliferating cell nuclear antigen index was 0%. A single, concurrently resected hilar lymph node contained scattered subcapsular, sinusoidal, and focally intralymphovascular psammoma bodies along with occasional adherent epithelial cells. These cells were highlighted by pankeratin but were nonreactive to WT1 antigen, similar to the nonviable cells in the primary tumor. Clinical surveillance and follow-up showed no disease recurrence 4 years after nephrectomy. We postulate that the lymph node inclusions found in this case represent passive transport of neoplastic cells to the lymph node following manipulation of the renal mass. We conclude that this phenomenon is understudied and underrecognized and can easily be mistaken for metastasis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / chemistry
  • Adenoma / pathology*
  • Adenoma / surgery
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / secondary
  • Cytogenetic Analysis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / surgery
  • Lymph Nodes / chemistry
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / diagnosis
  • Neoplasm Seeding*
  • Pregnancy
  • Wilms Tumor / diagnosis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor