Do we need an updated classification of oncocytic renal tumors? : Emergence of low-grade oncocytic tumor (LOT) and eosinophilic vacuolated tumor (EVT) as novel renal entities

Mod Pathol. 2022 Sep;35(9):1140-1150. doi: 10.1038/s41379-022-01057-z. Epub 2022 Mar 10.


The category of "oncocytic renal tumors'' includes well-recognized entities, such as renal oncocytoma (RO) and eosinophilic variant of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (eo-ChRCC), as well as a group of "gray zone" oncocytic tumors, with overlapping features between RO and eo-ChRCC that create ongoing diagnostic and classification problems. These types of renal tumors were designated in the past as "hybrid oncocytoma-chromophobe tumors". In a recent update, the Genitourinary Pathology Society (GUPS) proposed the term "oncocytic renal neoplasm of low malignant potential, not further classified", for such solitary and sporadic, somewhat heterogeneous, but relatively indolent tumors, with equivocal RO/eo-ChRCC features. GUPS also proposed that the term "hybrid oncocytic tumor" be reserved for tumors found in a hereditary setting, typically arising as bilateral and multifocal ones (as in Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome). More recent developments in the "gray zone" of oncocytic renal tumors revealed that potentially distinct entities may have been "hidden" in this group. Recent studies distinguished two new entities: "Eosinophilic Vacuolated Tumor" (EVT) and "Low-grade Oncocytic Tumor" (LOT). The rapidly accumulated evidence on EVT and LOT has validated the initial findings and has expanded the knowledge on these entities. Both are uniformly benign and are typically found in a sporadic setting, but rarely can be found in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex. Both have readily distinguishable morphologic and immunohistochemical features that separate them from similar renal tumors, without a need for detailed molecular studies. These tumors very frequently harbor TSC/MTOR mutations that are however neither specific nor restricted to these two entities. In this review, we outline a proposal for a working framework on how to classify such low-grade oncocytic renal tumors. We believe that such framework will facilitate their handling in practice and will stimulate further discussions and studies to fully elucidate their spectrum.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma, Oxyphilic* / pathology
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / genetics


  • Biomarkers, Tumor

Supplementary concepts

  • Oncocytoma, renal