Melanoma markers in angiomyolipoma of the liver and kidney: A comparative study

Hala R. Makhlouf, Kamal G. Ishak, Raj Shekar, Isabell A. Sesterhenn, Denise Y. Young, Julie Fanburg-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Context. - Melanoma markers, especially the new microphthalmia transcription factor (mitf), have not been previously compared in hepatic and renal angiomyolipomas. Objectives. - To evaluate expression of the novel melanocytic markers mitf and tyrosinase in angiomyolipomas, and to compare these markers with the established markers HMB-45 and melan-A in both hepatic and renal tumors. Design. - Clinical, histopathologic, and immunohistochemical features of 15 hepatic angiomyolipomas were compared with those of 10 renal angiomyolipomas. Results. - No significant differences between patients with hepatic angiomyolipomas and renal angiomyolipomas were found with respect to age, gender, race, and tumor size. Hepatic angiomyolipomas exhibited a predominance of the epithelioid smooth muscle cell component, in contrast to their renal counterparts, which were predominantly spindled. The smooth muscle cells expressed HMB-45 in 100% of cases in both groups, melan-A in 14 of 15 hepatic angiomyolipomas and 8 of 9 renal angiomyolipomas, mitf in 5 of 12 hepatic angiomyolipomas versus 6 of 10 renal angiomyolipomas, and tyrosinase in 3 of 12 and 2 of 10 hepatic angiomyolipomas and renal angiomyolipomas, respectively. The extent and intensity of immunostaining with HMB-45 and melan-A were dependent on whether spindled or epithelioid cells predominated; the epithelioid cells showed stronger and more widespread reactivity than the spindled cells. Conclusion. - We believe that the best immunohistochemical marker for confirming the diagnosis of angiomyolipoma is HMB-45, followed by melan-A. Routine use of mitf and/or tyrosinase is not indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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