Renal medullary carcinoma

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Renal medullary carcinoma
Diagnosis in short

Renal medullary carcinoma (right of image), reactive urothelium and sickled red blood cells. H&E stain. (WC/Nephron)
LM DDx collecting duct carcinoma, yolk sac tumour, hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell carcinoma syndrome-associated renal cell carcinoma, ALK translocation renal cell carcinoma
IHC SMARCB1 (INI1) -ve, PAX8 +ve, cyclin D1 +ve, CK7 +ve, vimentin +ve, EMA +ve
Gross well-circumscribed mass in renal medulla
Grossing notes total nephrectomy for tumour grossing, partial nephrectomy grossing
Staging kidney cancer staging
Site kidney, medulla - see kidney tumours

Associated Dx sickle cell disease or sickle cell trait
Clinical history usu. young adults
Prevalence rare
Prognosis poor

Renal medullary carcinoma, abbreviated RMC, is a rare malignant kidney tumour associated with sickle cell trait and a poor prognosis.


  • Rare.
  • Usually young adults.
  • Strong association with sickle cell trait (heterozygotes for the sickle cell allele)[1] and sickle cell disease.[2]
    • A large series (217 cases) showed 88% (191/217) have sickle cell trait and 8% (16/217) have sickle cell disease.[3]
  • Aggressive/poor prognosis.[4]
  • Closely related to collecting duct carcinoma.[5]





  • Well circumscribed.
  • Renal medulla.



  • Variable architecture:
  • Desmoplastic stroma - prominent.
  • Inflammation:
    • Lymphocytes.
    • Neutrophils - margination in vessels.
  • +/-Drepanocytes (sickled red blood cells) - especially among extravascular red blood cells.







  • SMARCB1 (INI1) -ve.[9]
  • Vimentin +ve.
  • EMA +ve.
  • CAM5.2 +ve.
  • AE1/AE3 +ve.
  • Cyclin D1 +ve.[5]

A panel:

  • AE1/AE3, cyclin D1, CK7, PAX8, p63, INI-1, L-ALK, RCC, CKIT, AMACR, GATA3, CK34betaE12, CK5/6, vimentin.

Sign out

Left Kidney, Radical Nephrectomy:
     - RENAL MEDULLARY CARCINOMA, see comment. 
     -- Margin POSITIVE for carcinoma.
     -- Please see synoptic report.
     - Four lymph nodes POSITIVE for carcinoma of six (4 positive/6).

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Davis CJ, Mostofi FK, Sesterhenn IA (January 1995). "Renal medullary carcinoma. The seventh sickle cell nephropathy". Am. J. Surg. Pathol. 19 (1): 1–11. PMID 7528470.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cheng JX, Tretiakova M, Gong C, Mandal S, Krausz T, Taxy JB (June 2008). "Renal medullary carcinoma: rhabdoid features and the absence of INI1 expression as markers of aggressive behavior". Mod. Pathol. 21 (6): 647–52. doi:10.1038/modpathol.2008.44. PMID 18327209.
  3. Alvarez O, Rodriguez MM, Jordan L, Sarnaik S (October 2015). "Renal medullary carcinoma and sickle cell trait: A systematic review". Pediatr Blood Cancer 62 (10): 1694–9. doi:10.1002/pbc.25592. PMID 26053587.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Watanabe, IC.; Billis, A.; Guimarães, MS.; Alvarenga, M.; de Matos, AC.; Cardinalli, IA.; Filippi, RZ.; de Castro, MG. et al. (Sep 2007). "Renal medullary carcinoma: report of seven cases from Brazil.". Mod Pathol 20 (9): 914-20. doi:10.1038/modpathol.3800934. PMID 17643096.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Calderaro J, Moroch J, Pierron G, et al. (September 2012). "SMARCB1/INI1 inactivation in renal medullary carcinoma". Histopathology 61 (3): 428–35. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2559.2012.04228.x. PMID 22686875.
  6. Mariño-Enríquez, A.; Ou, WB.; Weldon, CB.; Fletcher, JA.; Pérez-Atayde, AR. (Mar 2011). "ALK rearrangement in sickle cell trait-associated renal medullary carcinoma.". Genes Chromosomes Cancer 50 (3): 146-53. doi:10.1002/gcc.20839. PMID 21213368.
  7. Srigley, JR.; Delahunt, B.; Eble, JN.; Egevad, L.; Epstein, JI.; Grignon, D.; Hes, O.; Moch, H. et al. (Oct 2013). "The International Society of Urological Pathology (ISUP) Vancouver Classification of Renal Neoplasia.". Am J Surg Pathol 37 (10): 1469-89. doi:10.1097/PAS.0b013e318299f2d1. PMID 24025519.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Srigley, JR.; Delahunt, B. (Jun 2009). "Uncommon and recently described renal carcinomas.". Mod Pathol 22 Suppl 2: S2-S23. doi:10.1038/modpathol.2009.70. PMID 19494850.
  9. Humphrey, Peter A; Dehner, Louis P; Pfeifer, John D (2008). The Washington Manual of Surgical Pathology (1st ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 286. ISBN 978-0781765275.