Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome (BHDS) is a rare autosomal-dominant inherited disorder characterized by inactivation of the gene Folliculin (FLCN), pulmonary cysts with recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax, dermatological lesions, and an increased risk of developing renal malignancies. We aimed to investigate the real prevalence of BHDS and its prevalence among patients with a familial history of pneumothorax. From July 2014 to December 2016, we consecutively studied all patients with spontaneous pneumothorax and a positive family history for the same condition referring to our Institution. The suspicious cases underwent genetic analysis of the BHDS-causative gene FLCN. FLCN-positive cases were further evaluated with routine blood tests, chest radiography, chest CT, abdominal MRI, and dermatological evaluation. Although BHDS is considered a rare disease, BHDS underlies spontaneous pneumothorax more often than usually believed, especially whenever a family history of pneumothorax is present. Diagnosis of BHDS is essential to start monitoring patients for the risk of developing renal malignancies. For more information click here.
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