Clinical presentation of epithelioid angiomyolipoma


  • Contributions: Dr Park assembled and analyzed the data, and participated in writing the manuscript. Drs Zhang and Wong provided assistance with the design of the study and participating in editing the final manuscript. Dr Kim oversaw all steps of the study.

Hyung L. Kim, md, Department of Urologic Oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm and Carlton Streets, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA. Email:


Objective:  Epithelioid angiomyolipomas (AML) of the kidney are malignant tumors with aggressive clinical behavior.

Methods:  We reviewed cases of epithelioid AML recently diagnosed at our institution to highlight the spectrum of clinical presentations.

Results:  In all cases, renal lesions seen on computed tomography were suspicious for renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Histologically, these tumors can resemble RCC. The diagnosis of epithelioid AML was established by positive staining for melanoma and smooth muscle cell markers, and presence of perivascular epithelioid cells. One patient presented with a renal tumor extending into the inferior vena cava to the level of the hepatic veins. Two patients developed recurrent, metastatic disease following nephrectomy. One patient with tuberous sclerosis and multiple, bilateral AML developed an enhancing renal tumor that did not contain any fat densities. A partial nephrectomy was performed and pathology revealed epithelioid AML adjacent to conventional AML.

Conclusions:  These tumors are distinguished from RCC by positive immunostaining for melanoma markers and smooth muscle cell markers. They resemble conventional RCC on imaging. Epithelioid AML may be locally aggressive and metastasize.