Hemangioblastomas are a frequent underlying cause of neurological morbidity and death in patients with von Hippel–Lindau disease (VHL). Although these benign tumors can cause significant neurological debility when undetected and untreated, unified evidence-based surveillance recommendations for VHL patients have not been established. To develop consensus recommendations, the VHL Alliance established an expert committee, named the International VHL Surveillance Guidelines Consortium, to define surveillance recommendations.
The Central Nervous System (CNS) Hemangioblastoma Subcommittee of the Guidelines Consortium was formed as a multidisciplinary team of experts in the diagnosis and management of hemangioblastomas. Recommendations were formulated using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) and National Comprehensive Cancer Network Categories of Evidence and Consensus categorization after a comprehensive literature review.
Published studies (n = 49) that discussed age at onset, MRI frequency, natural history of VHL, and the risks and benefits of surveillance were analyzed. Based on this analysis, the authors recommend that clinical evaluation (yearly) be used as the primary screening tool for hemangioblastomas in VHL. The subcommittee suggests that screening be performed between the ages of 11 and 65 years, or with the onset of symptoms, for synchronicity with other testing regimens in VHL. The subcommittee also recommends that baseline MRI be first performed at the age of 11 years (suggested 2B, level of evidence D) or after identification of neurological symptoms or signs (if earlier) and continue every 2 years (recommended 2A, level of evidence A).
The CNS Hemangioblastoma Subcommittee of the International VHL Surveillance Guidelines Consortium here proposes guidelines that aim to increase the early detection of VHL-associated hemangioblastomas to reduce their morbidity and mortality.
CNS = central nervous system; GRADE = Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation; VHL = von Hippel–Lindau disease.
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