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Clear cell tubulopapillary renal cell carcinoma (CCTPRCC) is a recently described, low-grade subtype of renal cancer. We determined if imaging features could be used to distinguish early-stage CCTPRCC from stage-matched clear cell RCC (ccRCC) and papillary RCC (pRCC). This IRB-approved retrospective study included 54 stage T1a patients with pathologically confirmed CCTPRCC (n = 18), ccRCC (n = 18), and pRCC (n = 18). CT (n = 48) and MRI (n = 27) exams were reviewed and imaging features compared. Continuous variables were evaluated using ANOVA and Tukey's multiple comparison tests. Categorical variables were compared using Chi-square test or Fisher's exact test. Compared to pRCC, CCTPRCC had a lower mean attenuation value on unenhanced CT (p < 0.017), was more often hyperintense on T2-weighted images (p < 0.0001), showed an ill-defined margin (p = 0.003), and demonstrated nonenhancing areas (p = 0.0003). The presence of all three of these statistically significant features [hypoattenuation (unenhanced attenuation ≤25 HU), ill-defined margin, nonenhancing areas] yielded an area under the receiver operator curve (ROC) of 0.92 (95% CI 0.83-0.99) for differentiating CCTPRCC from pRCC. There were no significant differences in the imaging features of CCTPRCC and ccRCC. Early-stage clear cell tubulopapillary renal cell carcinoma can be distinguished from papillary RCC based on low attenuation on unenhanced CT, high intensity on T2-weighted images, an ill-defined margin, and presence of nonenhancing areas, but cannot be distinguished from clear cell RCC.


Gevork N Mnatzakanian, Atul B Shinagare, V Anik Sahni, Michelle S Hirsch, Stuart G Silverman. Early-stage clear cell tubulopapillary renal cell carcinoma: imaging features and distinction from clear cell and papillary subtypes. Abdominal radiology (New York). 2016 Jul 6

PMID: 27383741

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