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Radiographics. 2005 Mar-Apr;25(2):455-80.

From the archives of the AFIP: abdominal neoplasms in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1: radiologic-pathologic correlation.

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  • 1Department of Radiologic Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Alaska and Fern Sts NW, Washington, DC 20306-6000, USA. <>


Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is one of the most common genetic disorders. NF1 is a complex disease resulting from a spectrum of mutations that may occur at many locations along the large, complex NF1 gene, which is located on chromosome 17. Mutations of the NF1 gene lead to abnormal tumor suppression. Consequently, patients with NF1 have an increased prevalence of benign and malignant neoplasms throughout the body. There are five categories of NF1 tumors that occur in the abdomen: neurogenic, neuroendocrine, nonneurogenic gastrointestinal mesenchymal, embryonal, and miscellaneous. Many of these tumors are age related, occur at specific anatomic locations, and have unique imaging features. Notably, many patients have a variety of organs affected because there is a high prevalence of multiple tumors occurring in the same patient. Neurofibromas are the most common benign neoplasms and may occur in the retroperitoneum or visceral organs. Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor is an aggressive malignancy that is the most common malignant tumor of the abdomen in patients with NF1. Interpreting abdominal imaging studies in patients with NF1 can be challenging because of the wide spectrum and diverse nature of tumors that occur in this disease.

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