Wilms’ Tumor (Adenomyosarcoma) of the Kidney in Children

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Wilms’ tumor of the kidney is a topic of considerable discussion today by both the medical profession and the laity. The tumor was recognized as early as 1872 and has been a subject of conjecture since its first description. In this year, Eberth1 presented an accurate description of the neoplasm. Prior to this time any tumor of the kidney, regardless of the age of the patient, was classified as being carcinomatous in nature.

Wilms’ tumor of the kidney is a mixed cell tumor and may contain any or all of the derivatives of the three germinal layers. Because of the multiplicity of tissues, many theories have been advanced as to its derivation. In 1872, Eberth1 suggested the theory that the tumor was derived from remnants of the wolffian body. Cohnheim2, in 1875, attributed the origin to aberrant germ plasm from the primitive segments and Ribbert3, in 1886, in agreement with Cohnheim, stated the tumor was derived from a totipotent blastomere. In 1894, Birch-Hirschfeld4 concurred with Eberth upon its origin from the wolffian body. Brock5, in 1895, averred that the derivation was from embryonic cell inclusions embedded in the urogenital fold.

One can readily observe that there was much confusion as to the exact origin or derivation of this neoplasm. This led Wilms6, to write his important monograph on the origin and derivation of this tumor. His theory at present is the one most widely accepted. He stated that the wolffian body could not be expected to produce all of the. . .



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