Renal cell carcinoma in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease

Douglas S. Keith, Vicente E. Torres, Bernard F. King, Horst Zincki, George M. Farrow

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118 Scopus citations


To provide information on the clinical presentation, diagnosis, pathology, and biologic behavior of renal cell carcinoma in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), three cases seen at this institution between 1955 and 1992, as well as the cases reported in the literature, were reviewed in detail. No male predominance was observed (12 men, 13 women) in the 25 patients who met the inclusion criteria. The age of presentation was earlier than that seen in the general population (45 versus 61 yr). Fever, night sweats, and weight loss were prominent at presentation. Fever is a more common presenting symptom of renal cell carcinoma in ADPKD (32%) than in the general population (7%). Twenty percent of the patients had metastatic disease at presentation. Even with computed tomography and magnetic resonance, the diagnosis was difficult and often delayed, and the accumulation of 111In-labeled white blood cells can wrongly suggest a cyst infection. Renal cell carcinoma in ADPKD is more often concurrently bilateral (12 versus 1 to 5%), multicentric (28 versus 6%), and sarcomatoid in type (33 versus 1 to 5%) than in the general population. Because previous studies have failed to demonstrate a higher prevalence of renal cell carcinoma in ADPKD, this information suggests either a malignant potential restricted to a small subset of patients with this disease or an alteration in the biologic behavior of renal cell carcinoma when it develops in the setting of ADPKD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1661-1669
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 1994


  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Sarcomatoid renal cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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