Genetic predisposition to peripheral nerve neoplasia: Diagnostic criteria and pathogenesis of neurofibromatoses, Carney complex, and related syndromes

Division of Neuropathology, Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University, 720 Rutland Avenue, Ross Building, 512B, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Acta Neuropathologica (Impact Factor: 10.76). 12/2011; 123(3):349-67. DOI: 10.1007/s00401-011-0935-7
Source: PubMed


Neoplasms of the peripheral nerve sheath represent essential clinical manifestations of the syndromes known as the neurofibromatoses. Although involvement of multiple organ systems, including skin, central nervous system, and skeleton, may also be conspicuous, peripheral nerve neoplasia is often the most important and frequent cause of morbidity in these patients. Clinical characteristics of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) have been extensively described and studied during the last century, and the identification of mutations in the NF1 and NF2 genes by contemporary molecular techniques have created a separate multidisciplinary field in genetic medicine. In schwannomatosis, the most recent addition to the neurofibromatosis group, peripheral nervous system involvement is the exclusive (or almost exclusive) clinical manifestation. Although the majority of cases of schwannomatosis are sporadic, approximately one-third occur in families and a subset of these has recently been associated with germline mutations in the tumor suppressor gene SMARCB1/INI1. Other curious syndromes that involve the peripheral nervous system are associated with predominant endocrine manifestations, and include Carney complex and MEN2b, secondary to inactivating mutations in the PRKAR1A gene in a subset, and activating mutations in RET, respectively. In this review, we provide a concise update on the diagnostic criteria, pathology and molecular pathogenesis of these enigmatic syndromes in relation to peripheral nerve sheath neoplasia.

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    • "Early detection for cardiac myxomas using echocardiography is essential, as these tumors can lead to sudden death by embolism, stroke or cardiac failure. Cardiac myxomas are the most common, clinically significant non-cutaneous lesions in patients with CNC [15]. The mean age of patients with myxomas is 26 years old, and 62% of patients are women. "
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    ABSTRACT: Carney complex is an autosomal dominant syndrome with multiple neoplasms in different sites, including myxomas, endocrine tumors and lentigines lesions. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of Carney complex presenting with a unilateral adrenal adenoma associated with a pituitary incidentaloma. A 27-year-old Iranian woman was referred to our endocrinology clinic with amenorrhea and hirsutism, further confirming a diagnosis of adrenocorticotropic hormone-independent Cushing's syndrome. The cause was believed to be a right adrenocortical adenoma based on a computed tomography scan. Our patient underwent a right laparoscopic adrenalectomy and pathological examination revealed pigmented micronodular adrenal hyperplasia. Pituitary magnetic resonance imaging also documented a microadenoma that was considered to be an incidentaloma based on normal pituitary function tests. Recurrence of hypercortisolism led to a left laparoscopic adrenalectomy, providing further evidence for the diagnosis of primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease. Carney complex was established in light of her history of cardiac myxomas. We present what we believe to be the first case of Carney complex presenting with a unilateral adrenocortical adenoma in association with a pituitary incidentaloma. Although primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease is rare as a component of Carney complex, it should be considered in the differential diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome. Rarely, adrenal and pituitary imaging can be misleading.
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    ABSTRACT: The authors report on a patient without neurofibromatosis Type 1 or 2 (NF1 or NF2) and without evidence of schwannomatosis, who was found to have an unusual combination of nerve sheath tumors-a large cellular schwannoma and multifascicular involvement of a plexiform neurofibroma arising from the same site within the radial nerve and posterior cord of the infraclavicular brachial plexus. This case broadens the spectrum of combined pathological features of nerve sheath tumors. Genetic studies revealed a combined loss of neurofibromin and merlin in both regions and chromosome arm 22q deletion within the neurofibroma component only. The latter finding supports the suggestion that these were two different clonal neoplasms, and is consistent with a collision tumor pattern.
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to provide disease-specific information about schwannomatosis in its different forms and to present 2 particular cases of malignant schwannomas in the context of familial schwannomatosis (FS). The authors analyzed patients with pathologically defined schwannomas and identified those with varied forms of schwannomatosis. Each case was retrospectively analyzed for patient sex and age, number of operations and tumors excised, symptoms, location and size of tumors, extent of resection, nerve function pre- and postoperatively, complications, other nonsurgically treated tumors, malignancy, results of brain MR imaging, and follow-up data. One hundred fifty-eight patients underwent the excision of 216 schwannomas. One hundred forty-two patients presented with solitary schwannomas, 2 had neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2), and 14 presented with schwannomatosis. The average follow-up was 52 months. Six individuals had sporadic schwannomatosis, whereas 8 had the familial form of the disease. These 14 patients had an average age of 28.3 years at the time of disease onset (median 27.5 years) and 35.4 years at the time of the first operation (median 37 years) Thirteen of the 14 patients with schwannomatosis experienced pain as the first symptom. Eight (57%) of the 14 patients presented with at least 1 tumor in the spinal canal or attached to the spinal nerve roots. Malignant schwannomas developed in 2 patients from the same family during the follow-up. Patients suffering from schwannomatosis tend to be younger than those presenting with solitary schwannomas. Therefore, individuals presenting at a young age with multiple schwannomas but not meeting the criteria for NF2 should prompt the physician to suspect schwannomatosis. Patients with schwannomatosis who report pain should be exhaustively examined. The spine is affected in the majority of patients, and MR imaging of the spine should be part of the routine evaluation. Rapid enlargement of schwannomas in the context of FS should raise suspicion of malignant transformation.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2010 · Journal of Neurosurgery
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