Urinary aquaporin 1 and perilipin 2: Can these novel markers accurately characterize small renal masses and help guide patient management?

Joseph B. Song, Jeremiah J. Morrissey, Jonathan M. Mobley, Karen G. Figenshau, Joel M. Vetter, Sam B. Bhayani, Evan D. Kharasch, Robert Sherburne Figenshau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the role of urine aquaporin 1 and perilipin 2 as biomarkers adjunct to renal mass biopsy in guiding the management of patients with small renal masses. Methods: Preoperative aquaporin 1 and perilipin 2 levels in 57 patients with small renal masses undergoing partial nephrectomy were analyzed and compared with postoperative tumor histology. An algorithm was created utilizing aquaporin 1 and perilipin 2 in conjunction with renal mass biopsy. Cut-off values were implemented to maximize biomarker sensitivity and specificity. Renal mass biopsy utilization and intervention were then compared with rates in traditional renal mass biopsy algorithms. Results: All clear cell and papillary renal cell carcinomas were correctly identified and assigned to the treatment path. All benign lesions were correctly sorted to a confirmatory renal mass biopsy path. Two chromophobe masses did not have elevated aquaporin 1 and perilipin 2, and would require renal mass biopsy. Compared with protocols that call for all small renal masses to be biopsied, confirmatory renal mass biopsy could have been safely avoided in 74% of patients with elevated aquaporin 1 and perilipin 2. Compared with protocols that do not utilize renal mass biopsy, surgical intervention would have been avoided in 23% of patients with benign masses. Conclusions: Aquaporin 1 and perilipin 2 possess high sensitivity and specificity for detecting clear cell and papillary renal cell carcinoma. Use of these markers might compliment renal mass biopsy in the characterization of small renal masses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-265
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • aquaporin 1
  • perilipin 2
  • renal cell carcinoma
  • small renal mass
  • urine biomarkers


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