[Phacomatosis and genetically determined tumors: the transition from childhood to adulthood].
Phacomatoses, or neurocutaneous disorders, are a group of congenital and hereditary diseases characterized by developmental lesions of the neuroectoderm, leading to pathologies affecting the skin and the central nervous system. There is a wide range of pathologies affecting individuals at different moments of life. The genetics is variable: while neurofibromatosis 1 and 2, tuberous sclerosis and von Hippel-Lindau disease are all inherited as autosomal dominant traits, Sturge-Weber syndrome is sporadic. Other neurocutaneous disorders can be inherited as autosomal recessive traits (i.e., ataxia-telangiectasia), X-linked (i.e., incontinentia pigmenti) or explained by mosaicism (i.e., hypomelanosis of Ito, McCune-Albright syndrome). In this review, we discuss the major types of neurocutaneous disorders most frequently encountered by the neurosurgeon and followed beyond childhood. They include neurofibromatosis types 1 and 2, tuberous sclerosis, Sturge-Weber syndrome and von Hippel-Lindau disease. In each case, a review of the literature, including diagnosis, genetics and treatment will be presented. The lifespan of the disease with the implications for neurosurgeons will be emphasized. A review of cases, including both pediatric and adult patients, seen in neurosurgical practices in the Lille, France and Lausanne, Switzerland hospitals between 1961 and 2007 is presented to illustrate the pathologies seen in different age-groups. Because the genes mutated in most phacomatoses are involved in development and are activated following a timed schedule, the phenotype of these diseases evolves with age. The implication of the neurosurgeon varies depending on the patient's age and pathology. While neurosurgeons tend to see pediatric patients affected with neurofibromatosis type 1, tuberous sclerosis and Sturge-Weber syndrome, there will be a majority of adult patients with von Hippel-Lindau disease or neurofibromatosis type 2.
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