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Cancer Control. 2006 Oct;13(4):276-85.

Lymphangioleiomyomatosis.

Author information

1
Pulmonary-Critical Care Medicine Branch, NHLBI, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. dasilvaa@nhlbi.nih.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a rare disease that is characterized by proliferation of abnormal smooth muscle-like cells (LAM cells), which leads to the formation of lung cysts, fluid-filled cystic structures in the axial lymphatics, and abdominal tumors. It primarily affects women.

METHODS:

The authors present a review of large series, registries, and protocols to highlight the prevalence, pathology, clinical features, diagnosis, and treatment options for patients with LAM.

RESULTS:

LAM commonly presents with progressive breathlessness or with recurrent pneumothorax, chylothorax, or sudden abdominal hemorrhage. Computed tomography (CT) scans show numerous thin-walled cysts throughout the lungs, abdominal angiomyolipomas, and lymphangioleiomyomas. Pulmonary function tests show decreased forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and diffusion capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO). Exercise testing shows gas-exchange abnormalities, ventilatory limitation, and hypoxemia that may occur with near-normal lung function.

CONCLUSIONS:

No effective treatment currently exists for this progressive disorder. However, recent progress in cancer and smooth muscle cell biology and a better understanding of the factors regulating angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis may provide a foundation for the development of new therapeutic strategies.

PMID:
17075565
DOI:
10.1177/107327480601300405
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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