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Open access

Natalie Rogowski-Lehmann, Aikaterini Geroula, Aleksander Prejbisz, Henri J L M Timmers, Felix Megerle, Mercedes Robledo, Martin Fassnacht, Stephanie M J Fliedner, Martin Reincke, Anthony Stell, Andrzej Januszewicz, Jacques W M Lenders, Graeme Eisenhofer and Felix Beuschlein

Background

Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGLs) are rare but potentially harmful tumors that can vary in their clinical presentation. Tumors may be found due to signs and symptoms, as part of a hereditary syndrome or following an imaging procedure.

Objective

To investigate potential differences in clinical presentation between PPGLs discovered by imaging (iPPGLs), symptomatic cases (sPPGLs) and those diagnosed during follow-up because of earlier disease/known hereditary mutations (fPPGL).

Design

Prospective study protocol, which has enrolled patients from six European centers with confirmed PPGLs. Data were analyzed from 235 patients (37 iPPGLs, 36 sPPGLs, 27% fPPGLs) and compared for tumor volume, biochemical profile, mutation status, presence of metastases and self-reported symptoms. iPPGL patients were diagnosed at a significantly higher age than fPPGLs (P < 0.001), found to have larger tumors (P = 0.003) and higher metanephrine and normetanephrine levels at diagnosis (P = 0.021). Significantly lower than in sPPGL, there was a relevant number of self-reported symptoms in iPPGL (2.9 vs 4.3 symptoms, P < 0.001). In 16.2% of iPPGL, mutations in susceptibility genes were detected, although this proportion was lower than that in fPPGL (60.9%) and sPPGL (21.5%). Patients with PPGLs detected by imaging were older, have higher tumor volume and more excessive hormonal secretion in comparison to those found as part of a surveillance program. Presence of typical symptoms indicates that in a relevant proportion of those patients, the PPGL diagnosis had been delayed.

Précis

Pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma discovered by imaging are often symptomatic and carry a significant proportion of germline mutations in susceptibility genes.

Open access

Louise Vølund Larsen, Delphine Mirebeau-Prunier, Tsuneo Imai, Cristina Alvarez-Escola, Kornelia Hasse-Lazar, Simona Censi, Luciana A Castroneves, Akihiro Sakurai, Minoru Kihara, Kiyomi Horiuchi, Véronique Dorine Barbu, Francoise Borson-Chazot, Anne-Paule Gimenez-Roqueplo, Pascal Pigny, Stephane Pinson, Nelson Wohllk, Charis Eng, Berna Imge Aydogan, Dhananjaya Saranath, Sarka Dvorakova, Frederic Castinetti, Attila Patocs, Damijan Bergant, Thera P Links, Mariola Peczkowska, Ana O Hoff, Caterina Mian, Trisha Dwight, Barbara Jarzab, Hartmut P H Neumann, Mercedes Robledo, Shinya Uchino, Anne Barlier, Christian Godballe and Jes Sloth Mathiesen

Objective

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN 2A) is a rare syndrome caused by RET germline mutations and has been associated with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) in up to 30% of cases. Recommendations on RET screening in patients with apparently sporadic PHPT are unclear. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of cases presenting with PHPT as first manifestation among MEN 2A index cases and to characterize the former cases.

Design and methods

An international retrospective multicenter study of 1085 MEN 2A index cases. Experts from MEN 2 centers all over the world were invited to participate. A total of 19 centers in 17 different countries provided registry data of index cases followed from 1974 to 2017.

Results

Ten cases presented with PHPT as their first manifestation of MEN 2A, yielding a prevalence of 0.9% (95% CI: 0.4–1.6). 9/10 cases were diagnosed with medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in relation to parathyroid surgery and 1/10 was diagnosed 15 years after parathyroid surgery. 7/9 cases with full TNM data were node-positive at MTC diagnosis.

Conclusions

Our data suggest that the prevalence of MEN 2A index cases that present with PHPT as their first manifestation is very low. The majority of index cases presenting with PHPT as first manifestation have synchronous MTC and are often node-positive. Thus, our observations suggest that not performing RET mutation analysis in patients with apparently sporadic PHPT would result in an extremely low false-negative rate, if no other MEN 2A component, specifically MTC, are found during work-up or resection of PHPT.