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Lymphangiopathy in neurofibromatosis 1 manifesting with chylothorax, pericardial effusion, and leg edema

Authors Finsterer J, Stollberger C, Stubenberger E, Tschakoschian S

Received 27 March 2013

Accepted for publication 21 May 2013

Published 9 September 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 743—746


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Josef Finsterer,1 Claudia Stollberger,2 Elisabeth Stubenberger,3 Sasan Tschakoschian4

1Krankenanstalt Rudolfstiftung, Vienna, Austria; 2Medical Department, Krankenanstalt Rudolfstiftung, Vienna, Austria; 3Thoracic Surgery Department, Vienna, Austria; 4Interne Lungenabt, Vienna, Austria

Background: This case report documents the affliction of the lymph vessels as a phenotypic feature of neurofibromatosis-1 (NF-1).
Methodology: Routine transthoracic echocardiography, computed tomography scan of the thorax, magnetic resonance angiography of the renal arteries, and conventional digital subtraction angiography were applied. Comprehensive NF-1 mutation analysis was carried out by fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis, long-range reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, and multiple-ligation probe assay. All other investigations were performed using routine, well-established techniques.
Results: The subject is a 34-year-old, half-Chinese male; NF-1 was suspected at age 15 years for the first time. His medical history included preterm birth, mild facial dysmorphism, "café au lait" spots, subcutaneous and paravertebral fibromas, multifocal tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure in early infancy. Noncalcified bone fibromas in the femur and tibia were detected at age 8 years. Surgical right leg lengthening was carried out at age 11 years. Bilateral renal artery stenosis, stenosis and aneurysm of the superior mesenteric artery, and an infrarenal aortic stenosis were detected at age 15 years. Leg edema and ectasia of the basilar artery were diagnosed at age 18 years. After an episode with an erysipela at age 34 years, he developed pericardial and pleural effusion during a 4-month period. Stenosis of the left subclavian vein at the level of thoracic duct insertion was detected. After repeated pleural punctures, pleural effusion was interpreted as chylothorax. Reduction of lymph fluid production by diet and injection of talcum into the pleural cavity had a long-term beneficial effect on the chylothorax. Leg edema and chylothorax were attributed to affliction of the lymph vessels by the NF-1.
Discussion: Lymphangiopathy resulting in impaired lymph fluid flow and sequestration of lymph fluid into the pleural sinus and the legs may be a rare phenotypic feature of NF-1.

Keywords: angiodysplasia, lymph edema, lymph fluid, Recklinghausen's disease, genetics, mutation

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