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Q J Med. 1987 Sep;64(245):769-82.

Duodenal carcinoid tumours, phaeochromocytoma and neurofibromatosis: islet cell tumour, phaeochromocytoma and the von Hippel-Lindau complex: two distinctive neuroendocrine syndromes.

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Department of Pathology, University of Wales College of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff.


To clarify neuroendocrine syndromes we have reviewed the association of neurofibromatosis with carcinoid tumours and of neurofibromatosis, phaeochromocytoma or von Hippel-Lindau complex with either carcinoid or islet cell tumours. In nine cases of neurofibromatosis with a carcinoid tumour studied all carcinoid tumours were in the duodenum, were distinctive histologically and had widespread somatostatin immunoreactivity. The duodenum was the primary site in 18 of 20 further published cases of carcinoid tumour and neurofibromatosis. Phaeochromocytoma was also present in six of these 27 cases with neurofibromatosis and duodenal carcinoid tumour. Six patients have been reported with Von Hippel-Lindau complex, phaeochromocytoma and islet cell tumour. A further 11 patients showed phaeochromocytoma and islet cell tumour. No cases of Von Hippel-Lindau complex had a carcinoid tumour, and no cases of neurofibromatosis had an islet cell tumour. We conclude that the association of neurofibromatosis, duodenal carcinoid tumour and phaeochromocytoma forms a distinctive neuroendocrine syndrome, sharply separated from the association of Von Hippel-Lindau complex with islet cell tumour and phaeochromocytoma. This separation is important in pathogenesis, diagnosis and clinical management.

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