Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation

: 2013  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1027--1030

Metanephric adenoma: A case report and review of the literature

Pramod Kumar Sharma, Punit Tiwari, Jitendra Pratap Singh, Malay Kumar Bera 
 Department of Urology, Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research, Kolkata, (W.B.), India

Correspondence Address:
Pramod Kumar Sharma
Department of Urology, Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research, Kolkata, (W.B.)

How to cite this article:
Sharma PK, Tiwari P, Singh JP, Bera MK. Metanephric adenoma: A case report and review of the literature.Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl 2013;24:1027-1030

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Sharma PK, Tiwari P, Singh JP, Bera MK. Metanephric adenoma: A case report and review of the literature. Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl [serial online] 2013 [cited 2020 Jul 10 ];24:1027-1030
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To the Editor ,

Metanephric adenoma (MA) is a rare neoplasm accounting for 0.2% of adult renal epithelial neoplasms. [1] It is seen predominantly in females, with a ratio of 2:1. [2] The mean age and age-range of patients with MA was 41 years and 5-83 years, respectively, in a study by Davis et al [2] and 48.6 years and 38-64 years, respectively, in another study by Jones et al. [3] MA has a characteristic histopathological appearance and a benign course. Only one case of metastasis to lymph nodes has been described in the literature. [4] Herein, we present a 44-year-old female who was diagnosed as having a small lower polar renal mass and underwent partial nephrectomy for the same. On histopathological evaluation, the tumor was found to be an MA.

The patient, a 44-year-old female, a known diabetic, presented to us with a chief complaint of dull aching pain in the left flank region. On ultrasonographic evaluation, a 3.8 cm × 3.6 cm solid hyper-echoic mass was seen arising from the lower pole of the left kidney. On contrast enhanced computerized tomography (CT) scan, the patient was found to have a well-circumscribed, mildly enhancing, homogenous mass measuring 3.3 cm × 3.2 cm and arising from the lower pole of the left kidney [Figure 1]. There was no evidence of lymphadenopathy. The red blood cell and the white blood cell counts as well as the differential counts were essentially normal. Urinalysis, renal function tests and liver function tests were all within normal limits. Considering the small size and the polar location of the tumor, a partial nephrectomy was performed. Per-operatively, a well-defined mass of about 4 cm in diameter was found at the lower pole of the left kidney. No lymphadenopathy was seen. On histopathological examination, the tumor was found to be well circumscribed, but without a fibrous capsule [Figure 2]. The tumor consisted of cuboidal to columnar cells with bland histological features, which were arranged in long tubular structures. No nucleoli or mitosis were seen, neither was there any evidence of necrosis or hemorrhage, points favoring the benign nature of the lesion [Figure 3]. The histopathological findings were consistent with MA.{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}

The patient progressed well after the surgery. Follow-up CT scan performed after six months showed no evidence of any residual or recurrent tumor [Figure 4].{Figure 4}

Metanephric neoplasms are part of a spectrum of kidney tumors that contain renal epithelial or stromal cells, or both. They are derived from the metanephric blastema. At one end of the pathologic spectrum are tumors that are composed exclusively of epithelial nephroblastic cells, the MAs, and at the other end are tumors that are composed exclusively of stromal elements, the metanephric stromal tumors. Tumors that include a combination of both are termed metanephric adenofibromas. Wilm's tumor, which is also derived from the nephrogenic rests, is thought to represent the malignant end of this spectrum. The concept of MA was recognized as a distinct entity by Mostofi et al in 1988. [5]

However, Brown et al, on fluorescent in situ hybridization analysis of MA found frequent chromosome 7 and 17 gain and loss of sex chromosome thus relating these tumors to papillary renal cell adenoma and papillary renal cell carcinoma. [6]

MA is a rare, benign epithelial neoplasm of the kidney, accounting for 0.2% of all renal neoplasms, [1] and is more common in females (M:F = 1:2). [3] Although benign, difficulty lies in its pre-operative differentiation from other malignant neoplasms. Only one case of metastasis from MA to the lymph nodes has been reported. [4] Pins et al reported three MA-like tumors that had metastasized; however, these tumors revealed certain histological features that helped in their differentiation from MA. [7]

Symptoms include flank pain, gross hematuria or a palpable mass. However, most of the tumors are now diagnosed incidentally during imaging for other problems. Less-common features are dysuria, fever or hypertension. [8] It may also be associated with para-neoplastic syndromes like polycythemia and hypercalcemia.

On imaging studies, it is difficult to differentiate MA from renal cell carcinoma. Felding et al evaluated the ultrasonographic features and CT appearance of three patients with MA and found that the tumors appear hyperechoic on ultrasonography with enhanced through transmission, while on unenhanced CT, the tumor had increased attenuation relative to the adjacent parenchyma. [9] However, Bastide et al. in their study of nine patients found that the tumor may appear hyper-, iso- or hypo-echoic on ultrasonography and that they were hypovascular on color Doppler evaluation. On unenhanced CT, majority of the tumors were of higher attenuation than the adjacent renal parenchyma, but on enhanced CT, the tumors were of lower attenuation than the adjacent renal parenchyma. [10]

On gross pathological examination, the tumors are usually small in size. The mean size and range of sizes of the tumor were 5.5 cm and 0.3-15 cm, respectively, in a study by Davis et al [2] and 4.7 cm and 0.6-8 cm, respectively, in a study by Jones et al. [3] Grossly, the tumor is solid in appearance, although cystic MA has also been described. [11] The cut-surface usually appears tan to grey or yellow in color with foci of hemorrhage. Calcifications are seen in approximately 20% of the cases. The tumor usually lacks a fibrous capsule. [2] Microscopically, MA is composed of tightly packed, uniform, small epithelial cells with small regular nuclei, a basophilic cytoplasm, a high nuclei-to-cytoplasm ratio and no mitotic figures. The cells may be arranged in tubular or papillary architectural patterns and glomeruloid bodies may be found. The stroma ranges from an inconspicuous to a pauci-cellular edematous appearance. Psammomatous calcifications are common. In our case, uniform cuboidal to columnar cells were arranged in a tubular pattern. The distinction of MA from renal cell carcinomas, particularly papillary carcinomas, is important. The presence of fibrovascular cores, a number of macrophages or hemosiderins in the stroma and marked cytological atypia make the tumor more likely to be a papillary renal cell carcinoma than MA. [12] No such features were seen in our case, confirming the diagnosis of MA. Immunohistochemical staining with CD57, WT1 and CK7 may be useful to differentiate MA from papillary renal cell carcinoma when distinction by histological features alone proves difficult.


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