Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome prospectively detected by review of chest computed tomography scans

Hye Jung Park, Chul Hwan Park, Sang Eun Lee, Geun Dong Lee, Min Kwang Byun, Sungsoo Lee, Kyung A. Lee, Tae Hoon Kim, Seong Han Kim, Seo Yeon Yang, Hyung Jung Kim, Chul Min Ahn

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome (BHD) is a rare disorder caused by mutations in the gene that encodes folliculin (FLCN) and is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. BHD is commonly accompanied by fibrofolliculomas, renal tumors, multiple pulmonary cysts, and spontaneous pneumothorax. The aim of this study was to detect BHD prospectively in patients undergoing chest computed tomography (CT) scans and to evaluate further the characteristics of BHD in Korea. Methods We prospectively checked and reviewed the chest CT scans obtained for 10,883 patients at Gangnam Severance Hospital, Seoul, Korea, from June 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016. Seventeen patients met the study inclusion criteria and underwent screening for FLCN mutation to confirm BHD. We analyzed the characteristics of the patients confirmed to have BHD and those for a further 6 patients who had previously been described in Korea. Results Six (0.06%) of the 10,883 patients reviewed were diagnosed with BHD. There was no difference in demographic or clinical features between the patients with BHD (n = 6) and those without BHD (n = 11). Pneumothorax was present in 50% of the patients with BHD but typical skin and renal lesions were absent. The maximum size of the cysts in the BHD group (median 39.4 mm; interquartile range [IQR] 11.4 mm) was significantly larger than that in the non-BHD group (median 15.8 mm; IQR 7.8 mm; P = 0.001). Variable morphology was seen in 100.0% of the cysts in the BHD group but in only 18.2% of the cysts in the non-BHD group (P = 0.002). Nine (95%) of the total of 12 Korean patients with BHD had experienced pneumothorax. Typical skin and renal lesions were present in 20.0% of patients with BHD. Conclusions Our findings suggest that BHD can be detected if chest CT scans are read in detail.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0170713
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a faculty research grant of Yonsei University College of Medicine for 2015 (Grant Number: 6-2015-0032).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Park et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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