Von Hippel-Lindau disease (vHL)

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These clinical guidelines outline the criteria and recommendations for diagnostic and genetic work-up of families suspected of von Hippel-Lindau disease (vHL), as well as recommendations for prophylactic surveillance for vHL patients. The guideline has been composed by the Danish Coordination Group for vHL which is comprised of Danish doctors and specialists interested in vHL. The recommendations are based on longstanding clinical experience, Danish original research, and extensive review of the international literature. vHL is a hereditary multi-tumour disease caused by germline mutations in the VHL gene. vHL is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Predisposed individuals are advised to undergo prophylactic examinations, as they are at lifelong risk of developing multiple cysts and tumours, especially in the cerebellum, the spinal cord, the retina (hemangioblastomas), the kidneys (renal cell carcinoma), the adrenal glands (pheochromocytoma), the pancreas, as well as in other organs. As many different organs can be affected, several medical specialities often take part in both diagnosis and treatment of manifestations. vHL should be suspected in individuals with a family history of the disease, and/or in individuals with a vHL-associated manifestation; i.e. a hemangioblastoma in the retina or the central nervous system, familial or bilateral pheochromocytomas, familial, multiple, or early onset renal cell carcinomas, and in individuals with an endolymphatic sac tumour in the inner ear. Individuals suspected of vHL should be referred to a department of clinical genetics for genetic work-up and counselling as well as have a clinical work-up to identify any undiagnosed vHL-associated manifestations. This guideline describes the elements of the clinical diagnostic work-up, as well as the genetic work-up, counselling, and mutation screening. Individuals who are affected with vHL, individuals at risk of vHL, and VHL-mutation carriers are advised to follow the surveillance program which consists of regular prophylactic examinations relevant to different age groups. The examinations are recommended to start in infancy with annual paediatric examinations and ophthalmoscopy until the age of five years. From five to 14 years, annual plasma-metanephrine and plasma-normetanephrine tests, as well as annual hearing examinations are added. Also, an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) examination of the CNS and abdomen should be done between the ages of eight and 14 years. After the age of 15 years, individuals should be referred to: a) annual ophthalmoscopy in dilation, b) annual neurological examination, c) every two years: MRIs of the CNS, including the inner ear, d) annual ultrasound/MRI of the abdomen, e) annual plasma-metanephrine, plasma-normetanephrine, and plasma-chromogranin A tests, and f) annual hearing examination at a department of audiology. It is advised that one doctor takes on the responsibility of coordination of and referral to the many examinations, and the communication with the patient. To facilitate the coordination, and especially for the patients' own use, a mobile chart can be used. In 2012, the Danish vHL Coordination Group established a national vHL database comprising individuals with vHL and their relatives, as well as individuals examined for vHL. The database is designated to be a treatment and diagnostic instrument, as well as a tool in future vHL research in Denmark.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)B4763
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

ID: 96634132