, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 24-30

Early identification of patients with von Hippel-Lindau disease at risk for pheochromocytoma

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von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL) is an autosomal dominant familial syndrome that predisposes to the formation of tumors in multiple organ systems, including adrenal and extra-adrenal pheochromocytomas. However, fewer than 30% of VHL families develop pheochromocytomas. In recent years, this clinical heterogeneity has been correlated with missense mutations. The VHL patient requires vigilant, lifelong biochemical and radiographic screening for pheochromocytoma. Half of VHL pheochromocytomas present bilaterally, and there is a high incidence of recurrence after surgery. Because of the morbidity of bilateral total adrenalectomy with subsequent steroid replacement therapy, the recent therapeutic trend has been toward observation and minimally invasive adrenal-sparing procedures.