Perivascular epithelioid cell tumors (PEComas) are rare mesenchymal tumors of uncertain histogenesis expressing smooth muscle and melanocytic markers. The clinicopathologic spectrum in young patients is not well documented.


To describe a multi-institutional series of PEComas in children, adolescents, and young adults.


PEComas, not otherwise specified (NOS); angiomyolipomas (AMLs); lymphangioleiomyomatosis; and clear cell sugar tumors were retrospectively identified from 6 institutions and authors’ files.


Seventy PEComas in 64 patients (median age, 15 years) were identified. They were more common in females (45 of 64 patients), occurring predominately in kidney (53 of 70), followed by liver (6 of 70). Thirty-four patients had confirmed tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), 3 suspected TSC mosaicism, 2 Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS) and 1 neurofibromatosis type 1. Most common variants were classic (49 of 70) and epithelioid (8 of 70) AML. Among patients with AMLs, most (34 of 47) had TSC, and more TSC patients had multiple AMLs (15 of 36) than non-TSC patients (2 of 13). Two TSC patients developed malignant transformation of classic AMLs: 1 angiosarcomatous and 1 malignant epithelioid. Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (5 of 70) occurred in females only, usually in the TSC context (4 of 5). PEComas-NOS (6 of 70) occurred exclusively in non-TSC patients, 2 of whom had LFS (2 of 6). Three were malignant, 1 had uncertain malignant potential, and 2 were benign. All 4 PEComas-NOS in non-LFS patients had TFE3 rearrangements.


Compared to the general population, TSC was more prevalent in our cohort; PEComas-NOS showed more frequent TFE3 rearrangements and possible association with LFS. This series expands the spectrum of PEComas in young patients and demonstrates molecular features and germline contexts that set them apart from older patients.

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Competing Interests

The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.

Author notes

Presented in part at the Society for Pediatric Pathology Annual meeting; New Orleans, Louisiana; March 11, 2023.