Extraneural hemangioblastoma of the kidney: the challenge for clinicopathological diagnosis

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Hemangioblastoma is a benign cerebellar tumour which may occur as a sporadic entity or in association with von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease in approximately 25% of cases. Renal hemangioblastoma (RH) is an extremely rare and newly recognised tumour. Here, we describe five cases of RH, one discovered by CT in an accident and the other four detected during routine examinations.


Five cases of renal hemangioblastoma retrieved from the Department of Pathology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center were studied and the literatures were reviewed. Immunohistochemistry was used to differentiate and confirm this tumour.


Pathological examination following tumour resection revealed RH in all cases, the first patient was also diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma (RCC), suggesting the possibility of VHL syndrome, but PCR sequencing analysis of the VHL gene confirmed no mutation in any of the three exons, implying sporadic disease .Histologically, the tumours were circumscribed, composed of sheets of oval or polygonal cells and a prominent vascular network. Tumour cells had pleomorphic nuclei, but mitotic figures were rare. The diagnosis of hemangioblastoma was confirmed by immunohistochemistry.


RH is very rare and is challenging to differentially diagnose. Distinguishing RCC and RH is difficult and each has a different prognosis, so differentiating between them is essential for avoiding over-diagnosis and unnecessary treatment.

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