Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Women With Rare Lung Disease Found To Also Have High Prevalence Of Meningiomas

Date:
October 22, 2001
Source:
NIH/National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute
Summary:
Scientists at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that women with a rare lung disease known as LAM (lymphangioleiomyomatosis) have a high prevalence of meningiomas, a type of brain tumor.

Scientists at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that women with a rare lung disease known as LAM (lymphangioleiomyomatosis) have a high prevalence of meningiomas, a type of brain tumor.

Related Articles


The study, published in the October 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, is the first to document the extent of the association between LAM and meningiomas.

"These findings provide important new information on the nature of this disease and have implications for both the diagnosis and treatment of patients with LAM," said NHLBI Director Dr. Claude Lenfant.

The meningiomas were detected in an ongoing study of the natural history of LAM. LAM is associated with a rare genetic neurological disorder called tuberous sclerosis (TS). In an effort to determine whether patients with LAM also showed signs of tuberous sclerosis, NHLBI scientists performed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) brain scans on 250 women with the lung disease. They were looking for brain abnormalities called "tubers," one of the criteria for diagnosing TS.

Unexpectedly, MRI scans revealed that 8 patients had meningiomas – a rate that far exceeds the 1 in 20,000 expected in the general population.

According to the investigators, it is not clear whether the meningiomas are caused by LAM itself, hormonal treatments for the disease – or a combination of the two. They note that the abnormal smooth muscle cells found in the lungs and other tissues of LAM patients produce certain growth factors that are believed to foster meningiomas. However, the possibility that the meningiomas have a hormonal cause has implications for the overall treatment of LAM.

Because LAM occurs primarily in women of childbearing age, it has been thought to be affected by hormonal factors. As a result, it has been commonly treated with the hormone progesterone.

However, studies have found that progesterone can stimulate growth of meningiomas. Anti-progestins (drugs that interfere with this hormone’s action) have even been used to treat meningiomas.

"We cannot rule out the possibility that the high prevalence of meningiomas may be a result of both LAM and progesterone therapy," said Joel Moss, M.D., chief of NHLBI’s Pulmonary-Critical Care Medicine Branch and lead investigator of the study, which was conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD. Moss noted that although some of the women in the study had never been exposed to progesterone, low doses in contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy could have played a role in initiating the tumor or fueling its growth.

Moss and colleagues recommend using MRI to screen for meningiomas in LAM patients and if the tumors are found, they advise against the use of progesterone. The scientists also suggest that patients with meningiomas have yearly MRI scans to evaluate tumor growth. Surgery is the preferred treatment for these tumors which are slow-growing and rarely spread to other parts of the body.

An estimated 8,000 U.S. women have LAM, which is characterized by an unusual type of muscle cell that invades and obstructs the tissue of the lungs, including the airways, and blood and lymph vessels. Over time, these muscle cells interfere with the lung’s ability to supply oxygen to the rest of the body. The progression of the disease varies among patients – as does survival, which may extend more than 20 years after diagnosis.

According to Moss, patients with LAM are often misdiagnosed, partly because many of the early symptoms are similar to other lung diseases. "A common symptom of LAM is shortness of breath, which is seen in other lung diseases such as asthma and emphysema. Other symptoms of LAM include chest pain and coughing up blood-stained sputum or blood," he said.

Moss noted that both spontaneous and inherited forms of LAM have been reported. LAM’s connection to tuberous sclerosis has been documented and there is evidence that both diseases can have a common genetic basis.

To increase understanding about the clinical course of LAM, including its connection to tuberous sclerosis, Moss and colleagues at NHLBI are conducting research as part of an Institute-funded study of patients with LAM. Moss is actively seeking patients with LAM, including those who may have been diagnosed with TS.

For more information on LAM studies conducted on the NIH campus go to the following NIH website: http://clinicalstudies.info.nih.gov/.

Information on the disease can be found at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute. "Women With Rare Lung Disease Found To Also Have High Prevalence Of Meningiomas." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011022030751.htm>.
NIH/National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute. (2001, October 22). Women With Rare Lung Disease Found To Also Have High Prevalence Of Meningiomas. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011022030751.htm
NIH/National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute. "Women With Rare Lung Disease Found To Also Have High Prevalence Of Meningiomas." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011022030751.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins