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Endocr J. 2002 Apr;49(2):181-8.

A case of von Hippel-Lindau disease with bilateral pheochromocytoma, renal cell carcinoma, pelvic tumor, spinal hemangioblastoma and primary hyperparathyroidism.

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  • 1First Department of Internal Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan, School of Medicine, Kitakyushu.


A rare case of von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease with bilateral pheochromocytomas, right renal cell carcinoma, right pelvic carcinoma, spinal hemangioblastoma and primary hyperparathyroidism is described. A 78-year-old woman had a history of hypertension from her forties. She suffered from headache and body weight loss. Abdominal CT revealed bilateral adrenal tumors and right external renal tumors enhanced in early stage. MIBG scintigraphy exhibited a high accumulation of tracer in both adrenal glands. On the basis of the radiographic findings and endocrinological results, the patient was diagnosed as having bilateral pheochromocytomas and right renal cell carcinoma. A bilateral adrenectomy was performed, followed by surgery for resection of the renal cell carcinoma. The other resected right kidney showed a clear cell subtype that was determined to be renal cell carcinoma, and proved that the pelvic tumor was transient cell carcinoma. Spinal MRI showed spinal hemangioblastoma. von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene mutation for the patient was found. We diagnosed the patient as VHL because of the existence of spinal hemangioma and a VHL disease gene. Parathyroid echo revealed a hypoechoic space on the back of the left lobe, and serum calcium and intact PTH to be elevated. The patient was diagnosed as primary hyperparathyroidism. We report the first case of a patient with VHL disease complicated with bilateral pheochromocytomas, right renal cell carcinoma, right renal pelvic carcinoma and primary hyperparathyroidism. The life expectancy of affected individuals has been less than 50 years. Since the prognosis may be improved by an early diagnosis, affected individuals with VHL complexes should undergo cranial, spinal MRI and abdomen CT. The families may benefit from presymptomatic detection of affected gene carriers and the exclusion of at-risk family members by negative test results.

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