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The purpose of this study was to investigate clinical features and prevalence of germline mutations of patients with head/neck paragangliomas.
Genetic analysis on known susceptibility genes for paragangliomas (VHL, RET, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, and SDHAF2) was performed in 17 consecutive patients with head/neck paraganglioma (age range, 14-82 years) and 17 relatives.
Head/neck paragangliomas were usually symptomatic with "mass effect" (88.2%), without family history (82.3%), often multifocal (41.2%), never functioning, and malignant. Germline mutations were detected in 7 of 17 patients (41%; 6 SDHD and 1 SDHB). Patients with mutations were younger, with head/neck paragangliomas usually multifocal and with higher biologic aggressiveness than wild-type subjects. To date, 4 families have been studied and the prevalence of carriers was elevated (58.8%). These mutated relatives (age range, 17-71 years) were disease-free, except 4 patients in whom multiple head/neck paragangliomas were detected.
Adequate morpho-functional screening and follow-up and, if possible, genetic testing is advisable in patients with head/neck paraganglioma. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2012.
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pisa, Ospedale Santa Chiara, Pisa, Italy.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Head & neck
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