TFE3/TFEB-rearranged renal cell carcinomas are characterized by translocations involving TFE3 and TFEB genes. Despite the initial description of typical morphology, their histological spectrum is wide, mimicking common subtypes of renal cell tumors. Thus, the diagnosis is challenging requiring the demonstration of the gene rearrangement, usually by FISH. However, this technique is limited in most laboratories and immunohistochemical TFE3/TFEB analysis is inconsistent. We sought to identify a useful immunohistochemical panel using the most common available markers to recognize those tumors. We performed an immunohistochemical panel comparing 27 TFE3-rearranged and 10 TFEB-rearranged renal cell carcinomas to the most common renal cell tumors (150 clear cell, 100 papillary, 50 chromophobe renal cell carcinomas, 18 clear cell papillary renal cell tumors, and 50 oncocytomas). When dealing with neoplasms characterized by cells with clear cytoplasm, CA9 is a helpful marker to exclude clear cell renal cell carcinoma. GATA3, AMACR, and CK7 are useful to rule out clear cell papillary renal cell tumor. CK7 is negative in TFE3/TFEB-rearranged renal cell carcinoma and positive in papillary renal cell carcinoma, being therefore useful in this setting. Parvalbumin and CK7/S100A1 respectively are of paramount importance when TFE3/TFEB-rearranged renal cell carcinoma resembles oncocytoma and chromophobe renal cell carcinoma. Moreover, in TFEB-rearranged renal cell carcinoma, cathepsin K and melanogenesis markers are constantly positive, whereas TFE3-rearranged renal cell carcinoma stains for cathepsin K in roughly half of the cases, HMB45 in 8% and Melan-A in 22%. In conclusion, since TFE3/TFEB-rearranged renal cell carcinoma may mimic several histotypes, an immunohistochemical panel to differentiate them from common renal cell tumors should include cathepsin K, CA9, CK7, and parvalbumin.
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