Medline ® Abstract for Reference 23
of 'Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1): Management and prognosis'
Pheochromocytoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumors in patients with neurofibromatosis type I.
Vlenterie M, Flucke U, Hofbauer LC, Timmers HJ, Gastmeier J, Aust DE, van der Graaf WT, Wesseling P, Eisenhofer G, Lenders JW
Am J Med. 2013 Feb;126(2):174-80.
BACKGROUND: Neurofibromatosis I may rarely predispose to pheochromocytoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
METHODS: A 59-year-old woman with neurofibromatosis I presented with pheochromocytoma of the left adrenal gland. During surgery, 3 gastrointestinal stromal tumors adjacent to the stomach and small intestine were removed. Despite appropriate thrombosis prophylaxis, the patient died of a pulmonary embolus 2 days postoperatively. The second patient, a 55-year-old man with neurofibromatosis I and bilateral pheochromocytomas, had several small gastrointestinal stromal tumors adjacent to the jejunum during surgery. A review of the literature was conducted to identify patients with neurofibromatosis I with concurrence of pheochromocytoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumors and to define the specific clinical features of these patients.
RESULTS: In addition to our 2 patients, 12 other cases of neurofibromatosis I with concomitant occurrence of pheochromocytomas and gastrointestinal stromal tumors have been reported. Pheochromocytomas had adrenal locations in all patients. Two of the 14 patients had a mixed pheochromocytoma/ganglioneuroma. In 4 of the 14 patients, gastrointestinal stromal tumors were located along the stomach. The gastrointestinal stromal tumors in our 2 patients showed no somatic mutations in KIT and PDGFRA genes. A pulmonary embolism was diagnosed in 4 patients.
CONCLUSIONS: The simultaneous occurrence of pheochromocytoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumor should be considered in all patients with neurofibromatosis I presenting with an abdominal mass with symptoms suggestive of pheochromocytoma. Therefore, a pheochromocytoma should be excluded before a patient with neurofibromatosis I undergoes surgery for a gastrointestinal stromal tumor because an undiagnosed pheochromocytoma carries a high risk of life-threatening cardiovascular complications during surgery. Finally, this combination may be associated with an increased risk for thromboembolic events, but more studies are necessary to confirm this.
Department of Medical Oncology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.