Foamy cell (hibernoma-like) change is a rare histopathological feature in renal cell carcinoma

Fredrik Petersson, Maris Sperga, Stela Bulimbasic, Petr Martinek, Marian Svajdler, Naoto Kuroda, Milan Hora, Roderick Simpson, Tomáš Tichy, Kvetoslava Peckova, Jindrich Branzovsky, Kristyna Pivovarcikova, Pavla Rotterova, Bohuslava Kokoskova, Kevin Bauleth, Dusan Martincok, Vincent Nagy, Michal Michal, Ondrej Hes (Coresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We report nine patients (seven males and two females, median age 64 years (range 51-79 years)) with a renal cell carcinoma, each of which contained a significant component of neoplastic epithelial cells with a striking microvacuolated (hibernoma-like) cytoplasmic appearance. Tumor sizes ranged from 1.5 to 8.0 cm (mean 4.2 cm, median 4.3 cm). The basic architecture of the tumors was solid-alveolar in two cases (classified as renal cell carcinoma-not otherwise specified (NOS)) and papillary in seven cases (classified as papillary renal cell carcinoma NOS). The nuclear grade according to the Fuhrman grading system was three in all cases. By immunohistochemistry, the cells with microvacuolated cytopasm and significantly expressed adipophilin and anti-mitochondrial antigen in a similar cytoplasmic pattern. On ultrastructural examination, the cytoplasm of the neoplastic epithelial cells was packed with distended mitochondria, most of which displayed lamellated cristae. Numerous microvesicles were dispersed between the mitochondria. No mutations in the succinate dehydrogenase B gene were identified. Based on our findings, we propose that the mechanism behind this phenomenon is an abnormal intracellular processing of lipids. No aggressive behavior was observed in six out of nine patients with available follow-up information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-224
Number of pages10
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • Clear cell renal cell carcinoma
  • Hibernoma-like
  • Kidney
  • Lipoma-like
  • Papillary renal cell carcinoma
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Unclassified renal cell carcinoma

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


Dive into the research topics of 'Foamy cell (hibernoma-like) change is a rare histopathological feature in renal cell carcinoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this