Extrapulmonary Lymphangioleiomyomatosis and Lymphangiomatous Cysts in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex

Vicente E. Torres, Johannes Björnsson, Bernard F. King, Rajiv Kumar, Horst Zincke, Eric S. Edell, Timothy O. Wilson, Robert R. Hattery, Manuel R. Gomez

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57 Scopus citations


To describe the clinical manifestations, imaging findings, and histologic features of extrapulmonary Iymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) in the tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). We retrospectively reviewed institutional medical records since 1940 to identify patients with TSC and extrapulmonary LAM. Of 403 patients with TSC, 3 had pulmonary and extrapulmonary LAM and retroperitoneal lymphangiomatous cysts. The clinical, imaging, and histologic features of these three patients were summarized, including analysis of biopsy specimens by conventional histology, immunohistology, radiolabeled ligand-binding assays, and tissue culture. The three young women had characteristic dermatologic findings of TSC and pulmonary LAM. Two patients were of normal intelligence, and one had a recent history of contraceptive use. All three patients had intra-abdominal lymphangiomatous cysts, uterine LAM, and renal angiomyolipomas. Renal and uterine biopsy specimens demonstrated positive immunostaining for melanoma-related antigens and expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors by ligand-binding assay and immunohistology. Cells cultured from LAM tissue of one of the patients exhibited a mitogenic response to estradiol. Clinically significant extrapulmonary LAM is a rare manifestation of TSC and may occur in women with this disease who also have pulmonary LAM. The clinical features of these patients confirm the importance of sex steroids in the development of these lesions. Immunohistochemical findings suggest that LAM and angiomyolipomas have a neuroectodermal origin. The development of lymphangiomatous cysts in these patients is probably due to smooth muscle proliferation in lymph vessels, which can result in lymphatic obstruction. (Mayo Clin Proc 1995; 70:641–648)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-648
Number of pages8
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


  • CT
  • LAM
  • PCNA
  • TSC
  • computed tomographic
  • lymphangioleio myomatosis
  • proliferating cell nuclear antigen
  • tuberous sclerosis complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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