Pathology dictionary -

Fuhrman grade

The Fuhrman grade is a system used for grading kidney cancers. This grading system is used for clear cell renal cell carcinomas and papillary renal cell carcinomas


The Fuhrman nuclear grade is based on microscopic features of the tumour cells including the size and shape of the nucleus as well as the prominence of the nucleoli. The Fuhrman nuclear grading system divides kidney tumours into one of four grades: 

  • Grade 1 - The cancer cell nuclei are small and round.  The nucleoli are difficult to see even when the cells are examined with a high magnification lens.

  • Grade 2 – The cancer cell nuclei are slightly larger and irregularly shaped.  Nucleoli are easier to see but only after the cells are examined with a high magnification lens.

  • Grade 3 – The cancer cell nuclei are obviously irregular and enlarged.  The nucleoli are very easy to see even when the cells are examined with a low magnification lens.

  • Grade 4 - The cancer cell nuclei are bizarre, extremely irregular and often multilobed. Sarcomatoid and rhabdoid cells are included in this category. 

Why is this important? In general, high grade tumours (Fuhrman nuclear grades 3 and 4) have a worse prognosis than low grade tumours (Fuhrman nuclear grades 1 and 2).

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Copyright 2017

For more information about this site, contact us at

Disclaimer: The articles on MyPathologyReport are intended for general informational purposes only and they do not address individual circumstances. The articles on this site are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the MyPathologyReport site. The articles on are intended for use within Canada by residents of Canada only.

Droits d'auteur 2017
Pour plus d'informations sur ce site, contactez-nous à
Clause de non-responsabilité: Les articles sur MyPathologyReport ne sont destinés qu’à des fins d'information et ne tiennent pas compte des circonstances individuelles. Les articles sur ce site ne remplacent pas les avis médicaux professionnels, diagnostics ou traitements et ne doivent pas être pris en compte pour la prise de décisions concernant votre santé. Ne négligez jamais les conseils d'un professionnel de la santé à cause de quelque chose que vous avez lu sur le site de MyPathologyReport. Les articles sur sont destinés à être utilisés au Canada, par les résidents du Canada uniquement.