Diagnosis, management, and complications of glomus tumours of the digits in neurofibromatosis type 1

Genetic Disease Research Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, 49 Convent Drive, Building 49, Room 4A62, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
Journal of Medical Genetics (Impact Factor: 6.34). 08/2010; 47(8):525-32. DOI: 10.1136/jmg.2009.073965
Source: PubMed


Glomus tumours are benign painful tumours of the glomus body, a thermoregulatory shunt in the digits. Glomus tumours of the fingers and toes are associated with the monogenic disorder neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and are recently recognised as part of the NF1 phenotype.
A multi-institutional experience with 15 individuals with NF1 and glomus tumours of the fingers or toes is reported. The majority of individuals presented with at least two of the symptoms in the classic triad of localised tenderness, severe paroxysmal pain, and sensitivity to cold. Appearance of the nail and finger or toe is often normal. Women are affected more often than men. Multifocal tumours are common. There is often a delay in diagnosis of many years and clinical suspicion is key to diagnosis, although magnetic resonance imaging may be useful in some scenarios. Surgical extirpation can be curative; however, local tumour recurrence and metachronous tumours are common. Three of our patients developed signs and symptoms of the complex regional pain syndrome.
Glomus tumours in NF1 are more common than previously recognised and NF1 patients should be specifically queried about fingertip or toe pain.

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Available from: Chyi-Chia Richard Lee, Oct 10, 2015
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    • "The somatic mutations in NF1-G3 were detected in two different tumors. Clinical details but not NF1 mutations on NF1-G12 have been previously reported (''Leu-8'' in Stewart et al., 2010). NF1-G13 has not been previously reported. "
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    ABSTRACT: Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common, autosomal dominant, tumor-predisposition syndrome that arises secondary to mutations in NF1. Glomus tumors are painful benign tumors that originate from the glomus body in the fingers and toes due to biallelic inactivation of NF1. We karyotyped cultures from four previously reported and one new glomus tumor and hybridized tumor (and matching germline) DNA on Illumina HumanOmni1-Quad SNP arrays (≈ 1 × 10(6) SNPs). Two tumors displayed evidence of copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity of chromosome arm 17q not observed in the germline sample, consistent with a mitotic recombination event. One of these two tumors, NF1-G12, featured extreme polyploidy (near-tetraploidy, near-hexaploidy, or near-septaploidy) across all chromosomes. In the remaining four tumors, there were few cytogenetic abnormalities observed, and copy-number analysis was consistent with diploidy in all chromosomes. This is the first study of glomus tumors cytogenetics, to our knowledge, and the first to report biallelic inactivation of NF1 secondary to mitotic recombination of chromosome arm 17q in multiple NF1-associated glomus tumors. We have observed mitotic recombination in 22% of molecularly characterized NF1-associated glomus tumors, suggesting that it is a not uncommon mechanism in the reduction to homozygosity of the NF1 germline mutation in these tumors. In tumor NF1-G12, we hypothesize that mitotic recombination also "unmasked" (reduced to homozygosity) a hypomorphic germline allele in a gene on chromosome arm 17q associated with chromosomal instability, resulting in the extreme polyploidy.
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    ABSTRACT: Although a mutation in the NF1 gene is the only factor required to initiate the neurocutaneous-skeletal neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1) syndrome, the pathoetiology of the multiple manifestations of this disease in different organ systems seems increasingly complex. The wide spectrum of different clinical phenotypes and their development, severity, and prognosis seem to result from the cross talk between numerous cell types, cell signaling networks, and cell-extracellular matrix interactions. The bi-allelic inactivation of the NF1 gene through a "second hit" seems to be of crucial importance to the development of certain manifestations, such as neurofibromas, café-au-lait macules, and glomus tumors. In each case, the second hit involves only one cell type, which is subsequently clonally expanded in a discrete lesion. Neurofibromas, which are emphasized in this review, and cutaneous neurofibromas in particular, are known to contain a subpopulation of NF1-diploinsufficient Schwann cells and a variety of NF1-haploinsufficient cell types. A recent study identified a multipotent precursor cell population with an NF1(+/-) genotype that resides in human cutaneous neurofibromas and that has been suggested to play a role in their pathogenesis.
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