Renal angiomyolipoma: Clinicopathologic study of 194 cases with emphasis on the epithelioid histology and tuberous sclerosis association

Hakan Aydin, Cristina Magi-Galluzzi, Brian R. Lane, Linda Sercia, Jose I. Lopez, Brian I. Rini, Ming Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

151 Scopus citations


The majority of renal angiomyolipoma (AML) is sporadic and occasionally it occurs as part of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). Epithelioid AML (EAML), an uncommon variant, is considered potentially malignant based on anecdotal case reports. The prognostic significance of epithelioid component in an otherwise typical AML is uncertain. We studied 194 AMLs for the clinicopathologic features of epithelioid and TSC-associated AMLs. Epithelioid component was present in 15 cases (7.7%) with an average amount of 51% (range: 10% to 100%). Histologically, the epithelioid tumor cells were categorized into small, intermediate, and large cell type based on the cell size. Worrisome histologic features were seen in many EAMLs, including coagulative tumor necrosis in 27% (4/15), nuclear atypia in 93% (14/15), mitosis in 47% (7/15), and atypical mitosis in 1 case. All 15 EAML patients had a mean follow-up time of 5.1 years and none had local recurrence or distant metastasis. Sixteen (8.2%) AMLs occurred in patients with definitive TSC. Three histologic features, namely microscopic AML foci, epithelioid component, and epithelial cysts, were present in 10 (62.5%), 4 (25%), and 44% (7/16), respectively, of TSC-associated AMLs, compared with 11 (6.2%), 11 (6.2%), and 6 (3.4%), respectively, in non-TSC-associated AMLs (P value all <0.01). In summary, all 15 cases of EAMLs in our study had benign clinical outcomes despite adverse pathologic features. Epithelioid component, epithelial cysts, and microscopic AML foci are strongly associated with TSC and the presence of all 3 features should raise strong suspicion for TSC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-297
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009



  • Epithelioid
  • Prognosis
  • Renal angiomyolipoma
  • Tuberous sclerosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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