Synovial Sarcoma of the Kidney with Rhabdoid Features: Report of Three Cases

Sun Young Jun, Jene Choi, Gyeong Hoon Kang, Sun Hoo Park, Alberto G. Ayala, Jae Y. Ro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


We report 3 cases of synovial sarcoma with rhabdoid features, initially diagnosed as adult rhabdoid tumors. Two women (case nos. 1 and 2, 35 years and 27 years of age, respectively) and one man (case no. 3, 26 years of age) presented to their physicians with right flank pain. On physical examination, a poorly defined, firm, palpable mass was found in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen in all cases. Sonography and computed tomography revealed solid, cystic masses in the right kidneys that ranged in size from 8.5 to 20.0 cm Right radical nephrectomies were performed in all patients. One patient died of disease, and the other two patients were alive and disease-free after chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Microscopic examination revealed that the tumors were composed mostly of rhabdoid cells with eccentrically located nuclei, prominent nucleoli, and eosinophilic cytoplasm. We also found areas of fasciculated spindle cells, sharply separated from or irregularly admixed with areas of rhabdoid cells. There was tumor necrosis, but no epithelial areas were seen. Hemangiopericytic vasculature was at least focally observed in all cases. The tumor cells were positive for CD99 and bcl-2 in all cases and for CD56 in two cases and negative for CD34 and smooth muscle actin in all cases. The cells in case no. 1 were focally positive for cytokeratin. To verify the possibility of synovial sarcoma with rhabdoid features, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction using RNA extracted from frozen tissue in case no. 1 and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue in case nos. 2 and 3 was performed. SYT-SSX2 transcripts were detected in all 3 cases. These cases indicate that synovial sarcoma of the kidney should be considered in the differential diagnosis of mesenchymal kidney tumors with prominent rhabdoid features. A subset of adult rhabdoid tumors may be a rhabdoid variant of synovial sarcoma, and molecular studies to detect SYT-SSX fusion transcripts are recommended for an accurate diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)634-637
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Kidney
  • Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction
  • Rhabdoid tumor
  • Synovial sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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