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Pure primary renal yolk sac tumour in an adult: extremely rare clinical finding
  1. Ellen Maclean,
  2. Mitchell Barns and
  3. Kara McDermott
  1. Department of Urology, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ellen Maclean; ellen.maclean{at}


We present a rare case of an extragonadal retroperitoneal yolk sac tumour in an adult male, who presented with severe abdominal pain to his local hospital. Imaging revealed a large retroperitoneal soft tissue mass with no evidence of metastases. Initial biopsy demonstrated poorly differentiated carcinoma, favoured to be renal cell carcinoma. The patient underwent surgical resection following re-presentation with severe abdominal pain and significant interval enlargement of the mass. Laparotomy revealed a renal tumour that had ruptured through the left mesocolon into the peritoneal cavity. Postoperative histopathological examination revealed a yolk sac tumour involving the kidney, perinephric fat, renal sinus fat, renal hilar lymph node and colonic mesentery. Immunohistochemical staining for alpha-fetoprotein and glypican 3 was positive in the tumour cells without evidence of other germ cell elements, confirming the diagnosis of a pure yolk sac tumour. To our knowledge, this is an extremely rare case of a primary pure yolk sac tumour arising from the kidney in an adult.

  • Urological cancer
  • Urological surgery

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  • Contributors EM: writing—original draft. KM: conceptualisation and supervision. EM, MB and KM: writing—review and editing.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.