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Parvalbumin is a cytosolic calcium-binding protein expressed in the distal convoluted tubule of the renal nephron. Among epithelial renal tumors, the reactivity for parvalbumin is observed in chromophobe renal cell carcinomas and frequently in oncocytomas. On the other hand, there are no data available on parvalbumin expression in the mesenchymal tumors of the kidney. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the expression of parvalbumin in the spectrum of PEC (perivascular epithelioid cells) lesions of the kidney. Sixty-six PEC lesions (37 classic angiomyolipomas, 10 microscopic angiomyolipomas, 7 epithelioid angiomyolipomas/pure epithelioid PEComas, 5 leiomyoma-like angiomyolipomas, 3 lipoma-like angiomyolipomas, 2 intraglomerular lesions, 1 angiomyolipoma with epithelial cysts (AMLEC), and 1 sclerosing angiomyolipoma) were immunohistochemically stained with parvalbumin. Overall, parvalbumin immunostain was found in fifty-six PEC lesions (85%) and absent in the remaining ten cases (15%). Classic angiomyolipomas were positive in almost all cases (97%). Intraglomerular lesions and AMLEC showed parvalbumin immunolabeling as well. None of the 7 epithelioid angiomyolipomas/pure epithelioid PEComas or the only sclerosing angiomyolipoma expressed parvalbumin. In conclusion, we demonstrated the immunolabeling of parvalbumin in almost all PEC lesions of the kidney, but not in the epithelioid angiomyolipoma/pure epithelioid PEComa. This finding could shed light on some biological characteristics observed in the PEC lesions such as the plasticity of their cellular component. Moreover, parvalbumin may be another useful tool in the differential diagnosis among epithelioid angiomyolipoma/pure epithelioid PEComa with other renal eosinophilic tumors, such as oncocytoma and chromophobe renal cell carcinoma.


Anna CaliĆ², Serena Ammendola, Matteo Brunelli, Serena Pedron, Stefano Gobbo, Guido Martignoni. Parvalbumin immunohistochemical expression in the spectrum of perivascular epithelioid cell (PEC) lesions of the kidney. Virchows Archiv : an international journal of pathology. 2021 Apr;478(4):785-791

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PMID: 32524185

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