Flat pattern of nephrogenic adenoma: Previously unrecognized pattern unveiled using PAX2 and PAX8 immunohistochemistry

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18 Scopus citations


Nephrogenic adenoma is a benign lesion of the urinary tract, particularly the urinary bladder. It is a gross and microscopic mimicker of urothelial neoplasm or metastatic carcinoma. Several histological patterns (tubular, tubulocystic, polypoid, papillary, fibromyxoid) have been recognized, but a flat pattern has not been described. Histologically, nephrogenic adenoma consists of tubules, cysts or papillae lined by flat to polygonal cells with frequent hobnail appearance. The stroma is often edematous or has a granulation tissue-like appearance with acute or chronic inflammation. By immunohistochemistry, nephrogenic adenomas are positive for renal epithelial markers CK7, CD10 and alpha-methylacyl-coenzyme A racemase, and negative for bladder urothelium or prostate markers. Recent studies have shown that nephrogenic adenomas are positive for PAX2 and PAX8. We encountered an interesting case of tubular nephrogenic adenoma with adjacent areas suspicious of flat urothelial atypia. Immunohistochemistry for PAX2 and PAX8 were positive in these areas, unveiling a flat pattern of nephrogenic adenoma. This case prompted us to study 15 cases of nephrogenic adenoma to determine additional instances of flat pattern and to assess the value of PAX2 and PAX8 immunoreactivity to diagnose nephrogenic adenoma. PAX2 and PAX8 immunostaining was positive in 14/15 and 15/15 cases, respectively. The flat pattern was present at least focally adjacent to tubular, polypoid and papillary areas, in 8/15 cases of nephrogenic adenoma. In conclusion, the flat pattern is a common finding in nephrogenic adenomas, but easily under recognized by morphologic examination and may be confused with flat urothelial lesions with atypia. Immunostains for PAX2 and PAX8 are useful in the detection of nephrogenic adenomas and particularly unveil those nephrogenic adenomas with flat pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)792-798
Number of pages7
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013


  • Immunohistochemistry
  • nephrogenic adenoma
  • pagetoid spread
  • PAX2
  • PAX8
  • urothelial atypia
  • variant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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