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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 42

of 'Clinical features, diagnosis, and management of von Hippel-Lindau disease'

Clinical and genetic characterization of pheochromocytoma in von Hippel-Lindau families: comparison with sporadic pheochromocytoma gives insight into natural history of pheochromocytoma.
Walther MM, Reiter R, Keiser HR, Choyke PL, Venzon D, Hurley K, Gnarra JR, Reynolds JC, Glenn GM, Zbar B, Linehan WM
J Urol. 1999;162(3 Pt 1):659.
PURPOSE: Families with von Hippel-Lindau disease have variable risk of pheochromocytoma. Patients with von Hippel-Lindau disease and pheochromocytoma identified by screening can have no characteristic signs or symptoms. Families with von Hippel-Lindau disease were screened and followed to describe the natural history of von Hippel-Lindau pheochromocytoma, and to correlate these findings with von Hippel-Lindau germline mutation.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between 1988 and 1997, 246 individuals with von Hippel-Lindau disease were identified (von Hippel-Lindau group). Between August 1990 and June 1997, 26 consecutive patients with sporadic pheochromocytoma were evaluated (sporadic group).
RESULTS: A total of 64 patients with von Hippel-Lindau disease had manifestations of pheochromocytoma, including 33 newly diagnosed during screening at the National Institutes of Health and 31 previously treated (93 adrenal and 13 extra-adrenal pheochromocytomas). Germline von Hippel-Lindau gene missense mutation was associated with extra-adrenal pheochromocytoma, younger age at presentation and the only patient with metastases. Of the 33 newly diagnosed patients with von Hippel-Lindau disease 4 had pheochromocytoma 2 times (37 pheochromocytomas) during followup. Of these pheochromocytomas 35% (13 of 37) were associated with no symptoms, normal blood pressure and normal catecholamine testing. Comparison of urinary catecholamines in the von Hippel-Lindau and sporadic groups demonstrated increased epinephrine, metanephrines and vanillylmandelic acid in the sporadic group. Analysis of urinary catecholamine excretion in the von Hippel-Lindau and sporadic groups together demonstrated a correlation between tumor size, and urinary metanephrines, vanillylmandelic acid, norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine. In 12 patients without signs or symptoms of pheochromocytoma 17 newly diagnosed pheochromocytomas were followed for a median of 34.5 months without morbidity. Median tumor doubling time was 17 months.
CONCLUSIONS: Von Hippel-Lindau gene missense mutation correlated with the risk of pheochromocytoma in patients with von Hippel-Lindau disease. These findings support a von Hippel-Lindau disease clinical classification, wherein some families are at high risk for manifestations of pheochromocytoma. Von Hippel-Lindau disease pheochromocytomas identified by screening were smaller and less functional than sporadic pheochromocytomas.
Urologic Oncology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.