Clear cell tumours

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Hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma, a rare clear cell tumour. H&E stain. (WC/Nephron)

Clear cell tumours are found in a number of organs. Thus, it is important to have a list of 'em in one's head so one doesn't misdiagnose something.

Clear cell in the name


Gynecologic tract

Genitourinary tract

Gastrointestinal tract

Head and neck pathology

Soft tissue pathology


Tumours with clear/pale cytoplasm

An exhaustive differential diagnosis for clear cell tumour

Adapted from Miller with modifications:[3]

Tumour Group Notes/comments
Clear cell renal cell carcinoma Clear cell carcinoma
Clear cell papillary renal cell carcinoma Clear cell carcinoma
Xp11.2 translocation carcinoma Clear cell carcinoma
Lung Clear cell carcinoma
Pulmonary blastoma Other
Bladder Clear cell carcinoma
Clear cell carcinoma of the salivary gland Clear cell carcinoma
Breast Clear cell carcinoma
Ovarian clear cell carcinoma Clear cell carcinoma
Endometrial clear cell carcinoma Clear cell carcinoma
Paratesticular tissues Clear cell carcinoma
Adrenal Clear cell carcinoma
Prostate Clear cell carcinoma
Hepatocellular carcinoma Clear cell carcinoma
GI tract Clear cell carcinoma
Pancreas Clear cell carcinoma
Clear cell squamous carcinoma Other carcinomas
Hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma of salivary gland Other carcinomas
Adnexal clear cell carcinoma with comedonecrosis Other carcinomas
Clear cell follicular carcinoma of thyroid Other carcinomas
Acinar cell carcinoma Other carcinomas
Cholangiocarcinoma Other carcinomas [4]
Atypical bile duct adenoma, clear cell type Epithelial lesion [5]
Clear cell carcinoid Clear cell neuroendocrine tumours
Clear cell pancreatic endocrine neoplasm Clear cell neuroendocrine tumours
Clear cell medullary carcinoma of the thyroid Clear cell neuroendocrine tumours
Clear cell paraganglioma of prostate Clear cell neuroendocrine tumours
Clear cell lymphoma Clear cell Hematolymphoid
Clear cell myeloma Clear cell Hematolymphoid
Syncytial Hodgkin's lymphoma Clear cell Hematolymphoid
Seminoma Germ cell tumours
Yolk sac tumour Germ cell tumours
Clear cell sex-cord stromal tumours Other Leydig cell tumour
Clear cell thymoma Other
Clear cell mesothelioma Other
Solid pseudopapillary tumour of pancreas Other [6]
Clear cell oncocytoma of salivary gland Other epithelial clear cell tumours
Chordoma Other epithelial clear cell tumours
Giant notochrodal hamartoma Other epithelial clear cell tumours
Clear cell melanoma Melanoma
Clear cell PEComas - "sugar" tumor (lung, heart, pancreas, skin, soft tissue) Other
Clear cell sarcoma mesenchymal tumours
Clear cell dermatofibroma mesenchymal tumours
Clear cell atypical fibroxanthoma mesenchymal tumours
Clear cell meningioma mesenchymal tumours [7]
Dermal clear cell mesenchymal neoplasm mesenchymal tumours [8]
Clear cell GIST mesenchymal tumours
Alveolar soft part sarcoma mesenchymal tumours
Reticular variant of perineurioma mesenchymal tumours EMA +ve
Lipidized fibrous histiocytoma mesenchymal tumours [9]
Clear cell dermatofibroma mesenchymal tumours
Clear cell or "lipidized" fibrous papule of the nose mesenchymal tumours

See also


  1. Murakata, LA.; Ishak, KG.; Nzeako, UC. (Aug 2000). "Clear cell carcinoma of the liver: a comparative immunohistochemical study with renal clear cell carcinoma.". Mod Pathol 13 (8): 874-81. doi:10.1038/modpathol.3880156. PMID 10955454.
  2. Wang, B.; Brandwein, M.; Gordon, R.; Robinson, R.; Urken, M.; Zarbo, RJ. (Jun 2002). "Primary salivary clear cell tumors--a diagnostic approach: a clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical study of 20 patients with clear cell carcinoma, clear cell myoepithelial carcinoma, and epithelial-myoepithelial carcinoma.". Arch Pathol Lab Med 126 (6): 676-85. doi:10.1043/0003-9985(2002)1260676:PSCCTA2.0.CO;2. PMID 12033955.
  3. Miller RT. (Sep 2013). Atlantic Diagnostic Immunohistochemistry Symposium. St. John's, NL, Canada.
  4. Haas, S.; Gütgemann, I.; Wolff, M.; Fischer, HP. (Jun 2007). "Intrahepatic clear cell cholangiocarcinoma: immunohistochemical aspects in a very rare type of cholangiocarcinoma.". Am J Surg Pathol 31 (6): 902-6. doi:10.1097/PAS.0b013e31802c0c8a. PMID 17527078.
  5. Albores-Saavedra, J.; Hoang, MP.; Murakata, LA.; Sinkre, P.; Yaziji, H. (Jul 2001). "Atypical bile duct adenoma, clear cell type: a previously undescribed tumor of the liver.". Am J Surg Pathol 25 (7): 956-60. PMID 11420469.
  6. Albores-Saavedra, J.; Simpson, KW.; Bilello, SJ. (Oct 2006). "The clear cell variant of solid pseudopapillary tumor of the pancreas: a previously unrecognized pancreatic neoplasm.". Am J Surg Pathol 30 (10): 1237-42. doi:10.1097/01.pas.0000209849.97787.e0. PMID 17001153.
  7. Carlotti, CG.; Neder, L.; Colli, BO.; dos Santos, MB.; Garcia, AS.; Elias, J.; Chimelli, LC. (Jan 2003). "Clear cell meningioma of the fourth ventricle.". Am J Surg Pathol 27 (1): 131-5. PMID 12502936.
  8. Lazar, AJ.; Fletcher, CD. (Aug 2004). "Distinctive dermal clear cell mesenchymal neoplasm: clinicopathologic analysis of five cases.". Am J Dermatopathol 26 (4): 273-9. PMID 15249856.
  9. Iwata, J.; Fletcher, CD. (Apr 2000). "Lipidized fibrous histiocytoma: clinicopathologic analysis of 22 cases.". Am J Dermatopathol 22 (2): 126-34. PMID 10770432.