Background: The frequency and prognosis of pancreatic endocrine tumors (PNET)/pancreatic cystic tumors (PCT) in Japanese patients with von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL) are still open to question. Methods: We conducted the first nationwide epidemiological study of VHL disease in Japan to elucidate this question. Data on 377 VHL patients (PNET, 53; PCT, 152) were reported, and then their clinical characteristics were analyzed. Results: PNET was found in 14.1 % and PCT in 40.3 %; 4.5 % had both. The onset of PNET and PCT mostly occurred at 30-39 years of age (median ages, 34 and 33 years, respectively). Metastasis was observed in 7.5 % of PNET patients at diagnosis, and 64.2 % underwent surgery including enucleation, partial and total pancreatectomy, and bypass surgery. Two patients received non-surgical therapies. No PNET-related deaths were observed. In PCT patients, no metastasis was observed at diagnosis, and 9.2 % underwent surgery or drainage. According to the classification system without or with adrenal pheochromocytoma, the VHL patients studied herein were subdivided into 313 (83 %) with VHL type 1 and 64 (17 %) with VHL type 2; 29 (9.3 %) and 24 (37.5 %) patients had PNET with VHL type 1 and 2, suggesting that patients with VHL type 2 were significantly more related to PNET than those with VHL type 1 (P < 0.01). Conclusions: This study showed no significant difference in the epidemiology of pancreatic involvement between Japanese and non-Japanese VHL patients. Concerning the prognosis, follow-up study is needed.
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