Indian Journal of Nuclear Medicine

: 2021  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 207--209

Renal cell carcinoma mimicking with peritoneal carcinomatosis and krukenberg tumor: Diagnosis seen on fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography

Navin Kumar1, Kanak Lata2, Sarthak Tripathy2, Shamim Ahmed Shamim2, Mukur Dipi Ray1,  
1 Department of Surgical Oncology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Nuclear Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Navin Kumar
Flat No. 255, Type 3, A V Nagar, New Delhi - 110 049


Krukenberg tumor (KT) is a rare clinical entity with a mysterious origin. It originates most commonly from adenocarcinoma of the stomach. We present an interestingly rare case of this entity in renal cell carcinoma, revealed by 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scan. Ovarian cancers with diffuse peritoneal metastasis were considered the differential diagnosis of the disease, based on PET/CT. The potential efficacy of this functional imaging for KT is still in the exploratory phase, but its applications in diagnosis, disease prognostication, therapeutic response monitoring, and follow-up recurrence detection are superior than other imaging modalities.

How to cite this article:
Kumar N, Lata K, Tripathy S, Shamim SA, Ray MD. Renal cell carcinoma mimicking with peritoneal carcinomatosis and krukenberg tumor: Diagnosis seen on fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography.Indian J Nucl Med 2021;36:207-209

How to cite this URL:
Kumar N, Lata K, Tripathy S, Shamim SA, Ray MD. Renal cell carcinoma mimicking with peritoneal carcinomatosis and krukenberg tumor: Diagnosis seen on fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography. Indian J Nucl Med [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Sep 17 ];36:207-209
Available from:

Full Text

A 14-year-old female presented with pain abdomen, evaluated and diagnosed as right renal cell carcinoma (RCC). She had no urinary symptoms such as hematuria and dysuria. In addition, no signs or symptoms of distant metastasis were evident. Abdominal ultrasonography showed a 10.0 cm × 5.6 cm, large, exophytic, lower pole heterogeneously enhancing a solid cystic lesion with bilateral adnexal mass lesions. The patient was reviewed in the multidisciplinary tumor board meeting and advised for other workups such as serum tumor markers, positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT), and image-guided biopsies of renal and adnexal mass apart from the routine hematological workup. Her serum tumor markers such as alpha-fetoprotein, beta-human chorionic gonadotropin, lactic acid dehydrogenase, and CA-125 were 2.88 ng/mL (normal: 0.89–8.78 ng/mL), <1.25 ng/mL (normal: <15 ng/mL), 509 U/L (normal: 140–280 U/L), and 65.2 U/mL (normal: <15 U/mL), respectively. Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-PET/CT revealed metabolically active metastatic disease involving subcapsular liver deposits; pelvic peritoneal deposits; and bilateral ovarian avid lesions with FDG uptake in the left anterior diaphragmatic, periportal, preaortic, aortocaval, paracaval, retrocaval, bilateral internal iliac, and right external iliac lymph nodes [Figure 1]a, [Figure 1]b, [Figure 1]c, [Figure 1]d, [Figure 1]e. In addition, a large necrotic mass lesion with patchy calcification and multiple renal cysts was noted in the right kidney. Histopathologically, biopsy report rendered the diagnosis of papillary RCC, immunopositive for alpha-Methylacyl-CoA racemase and negative for CK7 and CK10. Biopsy from the adnexal mass showed a necrotic material with blood clots. Based on all the above investigations, the patient was designated as metastatic RCC with peritoneal carcinomatosis and Krukenberg tumor (KT). She was planned for pazopanib-based treatment.{Figure 1}

FDG-PET/CT is useful for the staging of patients with RCC, in selected patients. In the current study, the young age of the patient does not fit for RCC demographic criteria. In addition, she had no other well-known risk factors such as cigarette smoking, obesity, and hypertension. Young age presentation is often associated with genetic alterations (e.g., point mutation of the Von Hippel–Lindau tumor suppressor gene 3p25.3 or Xp11.2 translocation). Due to logistic issues and economical constraint, additional genetic tests were not advised for this patient. RCC occurs predominantly in the seventh decade of life.[1] Only 3%–7% of all sporadic RCC patients have been found to be younger than 40 years.[2] These subgroups of patients showed aggressive disease biological behaviour and had poorer oncological outcomes.[2],[3] Bulky adnexal mass with increased CA-125 level raised the suspicion of ovarian malignancy. It was a combined diagnostic armamentarium of PET/CT and tissue histopathology, which clinched the accurate diagnosis.

RCC has a very unpredictable metastasis potential with nearly all body system involvement.[4] However, the incidence of isolated metastasis is <1%.[5] Lung, bones, liver, and brain are the most common sites of metastasis in RCC. Peritoneal carcinomatosis with KT is uncommon in RCC.[6],[7] Many theories have been postulated regarding KT such as transcoelomic spread, peritoneal fluid circulation, fluid redistribution secondary to gravity, and translymphatic peritoneal dissemination by lymphatic stomata.[8] However, the exact mechanism of the possible spread of peritoneal involvement is not fully understood.[9] Peritoneal carcinomatosis is an aggressive clinical entity that can occur due to hematogenous tumor embolism, lymphatic permeation, and/or direct renal capsule breakage by tumor cells. Peritoneal surface involvement leads to ascites, which further precipitates the spread due to fluid stasis at peritoneal reflections.[10] The reason for KT with RCC in the present case remains uncertain. In the majority of studies, PET-CT has shown limited sensitivity in the primary evaluation of RCC and high sensitivity for metastatic and recurrent disease.[11],[12] The reason for the high false-positive rate for the initial detection of primary RCC is the presence of physiological excretion of FDG in the kidneys. It has a diagnostic accuracy of 84% for biopsy-proven malignant or benign lesions.[13]

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form, the patient has given her consent for her images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patient understands that her name and initial will not be published, and due efforts will be made to conceal her identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Cao Y, Paner GP, Perry KT, Flanigan RC, Campbell SC, Picken MM. Renal neoplasms in younger adults: Analysis of 112 tumors from a single institution according to the new 2004 World Health Organization classification and 2002 American Joint Committee on Cancer Staging System. Arch Pathol Lab Med 2005;129:487-91.
2Rodriguez A, Patard JJ, Lobel B. Renal cell carcinoma in young adults: Incidence, disease outcome and review of the literature. Arch Esp Urol 2002;55:969-75.
3Agnihotri S, Kumar J, Jain M, Kapoor R, Mandhani A. Renal cell carcinoma in India demonstrates early age of onset & a late stage of presentation. Indian J Med Res 2014;140:624-9.
4Sakamoto A, Yoshida T, Matsuura S, Tanaka K, Matsuda S, Oda Y, et al. Metastasis to the gluteus maximus muscle from renal cell carcinoma with special emphasis on MRI features. World J Surg Oncol 2007;5:88.
5Kirkali Z, Tuzel E, Mungan MU. Recent advances in kidney cancer and metastatic disease. BJU Int 2001;88:818-24.
6Miyakita H, Tokunaga M, Onda H, Usui Y, Kinoshita H, Kawamura N, et al. Significance of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) for detection of renal cell carcinoma and immunohistochemical glucose transporter 1 (GLUT-1) expression in the cancer. Int J Urol 2002;9:15-8.
7Rangan K, Ora M, Israrahmed A, Gambhir S. Krukenberg tumors arising from rare primary sites: Role of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography in management and outcome. Indian J Nucl Med 2019;34:302-6.
8Al-Agha OM, Nicastri AD. An in-depth look at Krukenberg tumor: An overview. Arch Pathol Lab Med 2006;130:1725-30.
9Jennison E, Wathuge GW, Gorard DA. Renal cell carcinoma presenting with malignant ascites. JRSM Open 2015;6:2054270415585087.
10Tartar VM, Heiken JP, McClennan BL. Renal cell carcinoma presenting with diffuse peritoneal metastases: CT findings. J Comput Assist Tomogr 1991;15:450-3.
11Martínez de Llano SR, Delgado-Bolton RC, Jiménez-Vicioso A, Pérez-Castejón MJ, Carreras Delgado JL, Ramos E, et al. Meta-analysis of the diagnostic performance of 18F-FDG PET in renal cell carcinoma. Rev Esp Med Nucl 2007;26:19-29.
12Sonavane SN, Malhotra G, Asopa R, Upadhye T. Role of fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in a case of renal cell carcinoma to differentiate tumor thrombus from bland thrombus. Indian J Nucl Med 2015;30:355-7.
13Patel HD, Johnson MH, Pierorazio PM, Sozio SM, Sharma R, Iyoha E, et al. Diagnostic accuracy and risks of biopsy in the diagnosis of a renal mass Suspicious for localized renal cell carcinoma: Systematic review of the literature. J Urol 2016;195:1340-7.