Role of carbonic anhydrase IX, α-methylacyl coenzyme a racemase, cytokeratin 7, and galectin-3 in the evaluation of renal neoplasms: a tissue microarray immunohistochemical study

Ann Diagn Pathol. 2013 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.anndiagpath.2012.07.002. Epub 2012 Aug 14.


Kidney tumors of various types may behave differently and have different prognosis. Because of some overlapping morphological features and immunohistochemical staining pattern, they may pose diagnostic challenge. Therefore, it is necessary to explore additional immunohistochemical stains to help classifying these epithelial neoplasms. Tissue microarrays of 20 cases each of renal cell carcinomas of clear cell, chromophobe, and papillary variants and oncocytoma were constructed and used to test a panel of immunohistochemical markers including carbonic anhydrase IX, galectin-3, cytokeratin 7 (CK7), and α-methylacyl coenzyme a racemase. Carbonic anhydrase IX was highly sensitive for clear cell renal cell carcinoma (90% positivity) and was negative in all other renal epithelial tumors except for 1 chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (chRCC). Expression of galectin-3 was found mostly in renal tumors with oncocytic features, including oncocytomas (100%) and chRCCs (89%). α-Methylacyl coenzyme a racemase was positive in papillary renal cell carcinoma (100%). CK7 was positive in papillary renal cell carcinoma (90%), chRCC (89%), and oncocytoma (90%). Although both chRCC and oncocytoma were positive for CK7, but with a different patterns, CK7 staining in chRCC was diffuse, whereas it was sporadic in oncocytoma. Panel of carbonic anhydrase IX, galectin-3, CK7, and α-methylacyl coenzyme a racemase is sensitive and specific for the differential diagnosis of the renal epithelial tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Carbonic Anhydrase IX
  • Carbonic Anhydrases / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Galectin 3 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Keratin-7 / metabolism*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Racemases and Epimerases / metabolism*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tissue Array Analysis


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Galectin 3
  • Keratin-7
  • CA9 protein, human
  • Carbonic Anhydrase IX
  • Carbonic Anhydrases
  • Racemases and Epimerases
  • alpha-methylacyl-CoA racemase