Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome encountered at rare lung disease clinic in Anhui province, China

Guofeng Zhang, Jinli Liu, Yushuo Wang, Yue Wang, Xianliang Jiang, Yan Peng, Jun Xiao, Wei Wei, Bing Shen, Long Yi, Jay H. Ryu, Xiaowen Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Diagnosis of rare diseases remains a challenge in China. We describe our experience with Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome (BHDS) encountered at a Rare Lung Disease Clinic recently established in China. Methods: After the first patient with BHDS was recognized in 2017, a Rare Lung Disease Clinic with a multidisciplinary team of specialists was established. We retrospectively analyzed the data of consecutive patients with BHDS encountered from inception to December 2021. Results: There were 1, 1, 15, 12 and 21 cases with BHDS diagnosed from year 2017 to 2021, respectively. All 50 patients (34 women) were of Han race with a mean age of 47.4 years. The common manifestations were pulmonary cysts (98%), pneumothorax (54%) and skin lesions (68%). Renal cancer was detected in two patients and renal angiomyolipoma in four other patients. The main presentations leading to diagnosis were pneumothorax (42%), family screening (36%), and lung cysts identified on radiologic imaging (20%). The average delay in diagnosis was 8.3 years, and 4.7 years in patients with only pulmonary cysts. The most frequent pathogenic variant was c.1285del/dup on exon 11 (23%) among 44 patients confirmed by genetic testing. Renal cancer has not been found on follow-up surveillance thus far. Conclusions: Increasing number of patients with BHDS are being recognized in China, facilitated by establishment of a Rare Lung Disease Clinic. Pulmonary cysts and pneumothorax were commonly encountered features, but skin lesions appeared to be more prevalent in Chinese subjects than previously reported in other Asian countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number203
JournalOrphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome
  • FLCN gene
  • Pneumothorax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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