Renal pelvis transitional cell carcinoma in a malrotated kidney

Case contributed by Dr Henry Knipe


Haematuria for investigation.

Patient Data

Age: 80 years
Gender: Male
Malrotated right kidney with a laterally facing renal sinus. Enhancing soft tissue within the renal pelvis with filling defects evidence on the delayed phase. Arterially enhancing liver lesions that do not wash out are indeterminate.

The patient proceeded to a radical right nephro-ureterectomy. 


MACROSCOPIC DESCRIPTION: A kidney (273g, 105x45x45mm) with ureter (130mm length, 8mm diameter), renal vein (up to 20mm), renal anterior (up to 15mm) and perinephric fat (up to 30mm). Arising within the renal pelvis and extending into a calyx is a friable tan-brown exophytic tumour 45x30x4mm. Tumour does not appear to invade the pelvic wall or renal parenchyma and is clear of the perinephric margin by 3mm. Tumour appears to extend down proximal ureter to a distance of 20mm. A renal cortical cyst up to 12mm is present. The remaining kidney is normal. Lymph nodes are not identified. 

MICROSCOPIC DESCRIPTION: Sections of kidney show a tumour arising from the renal pelvis, comprising large papillae lined by thickened urothelium showing minor nuclear crowding, enlargement and loss of nuclear polarity. Tumour extends into proximal ureter and involves a renal calyx. Invasion is not identified. Tumour is clear of the perinephric, ureteric and vascular margins. A simple benign cortical cyst is present, which is lined by bland flattened epithelium. Renal parenchyma away from the capsule and tumour shows mild intimal fibroelastosis of small arteries but is otherwise normal. 

DIAGNOSIS: Non-invasive low grade papillary urothelial carcinoma arising from renal pelvis.

Case Discussion

Malrotated kidneys are affected by the same conditions as a normally rotated kidney with increased risk of PUJ obstruction, urinary stasis and urolithiasis. 

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Case information

rID: 52949
Published: 27th Apr 2017
Last edited: 16th Jul 2018
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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