Cytomorphologic and immunocytochemical characteristics of reactive renal tubular cells in renal glomerular disease

Hiroyuki Ohsaki, Reiji Haba, Toru Matsunaga, Muneo Nakamura, Hideyasu Kiyomoto, Eiichiro Hirakawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate the morphologic characteristics and immunocytochemical reaction to vimentin of the reactive renal tubular cells (RRTCs) in renal glomerular disease. Study Design: We prospectively evaluated the urine cytology of renal glomerular disease in 40 patients who underwent renal biopsy. The cytology and renal biopsy specimens were analyzed for vimentin immunostaining. Results: A total of 40 urine samples from the 40 patients were cytologically analyzed, and RRTCs were found in 25 samples (25 of 40, 62.5%). These RRTCs showed clear or vacuolated cytoplasm, intracytoplasmic pigmented granules (hemosiderin or lipofuscin) and large nuclei with round to irregular nuclear contours and prominent nucleoli. These cells were seen singly and in acinar clusters. Occasionally RRTCs were embedded in a cast (RRTC cast). Immunocytochemical study revealed RRTCs to be positive for vimentin (25 of 25, 100%). Conclusion: Frequently observed characteristic cytomorphologic features of RRTCs included RRTC cast, acinar cluster, vacuolated cytoplasm and intracytoplasmic pigmented granules. A diagnosis of RRTCs can be suggested based on these cytomorphologic features. However, a definitive diagnosis will require immunocytochemical confirmation for vimentin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-303
Number of pages7
JournalActa Cytologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Reactive renal tubular cells
  • Renal glomerular disease
  • Urine cytology
  • Vimentin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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