Virchows Archiv

, Volume 444, Issue 2, pp 127–134 | Cite as

Keratin immunohistochemistry in renal cell carcinoma subtypes and renal oncocytomas: a systematic analysis of 233 tumors

  • Cord Langner
  • Beate J. Wegscheider
  • Manfred Ratschek
  • Luigi Schips
  • Richard Zigeuner
Original Article


Keratin immunohistochemistry represents a widely applied differential diagnostic tool in surgical pathology. To investigate the value of keratin subtyping for the diagnosis among histological subtypes of renal cell carcinoma and oncocytomas, we performed a detailed immunohistochemical study, applying 22 different monoclonal keratin antibodies on a large series of 233 renal tumors [125 conventional, 22 chromophobe, and 20 papillary (12 type-1, 8 type-2 tumors) cancers and 66 oncocytomas] using a tissue microarray technique. Immunoreactivity for keratin 7, 8, 18, and 19 was present in all tumor entities, albeit in varying quantities. With antibodies directed against keratins 8 and 18, oncocytomas showed a distinct perinuclear and punctate dot-like pattern, which was not observed in renal cancer specimens. The only tumors showing immunoreactivity for keratin 20 were two type-2 papillary cancers. All other monospecific keratin antibodies yielded consistently negative results. Overall, in contrast to some recent publications, keratin subtyping generally appeared to be of additional value only for the differentiation of renal epithelial tumors. Hence, with respect to differential diagnostic value, Hale’s colloidal iron stain and vimentin immunostaining are still the most useful tools in renal tumor pathology.


Renal cell carcinoma Oncocytoma Histological subtype Keratin Differential diagnosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cord Langner
    • 1
  • Beate J. Wegscheider
    • 1
  • Manfred Ratschek
    • 1
  • Luigi Schips
    • 2
  • Richard Zigeuner
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of PathologyUniversity of Graz, Medical SchoolGrazAustria
  2. 2.Department of UrologyUniversity of Graz, Medical SchoolGrazAustria

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