What multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1)?

Updated: Sep 14, 2018
  • Author: Thomas N Darling, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is an autosomal dominant familial tumor syndrome (also termed Wermer syndrome) characterized by tumors of the parathyroid glands, the enteropancreatic neuroendocrine system, the anterior pituitary gland, and the skin. The most common endocrine tumors are parathyroid tumors that cause hyperparathyroidism and hypercalcemia. Other tumors include gastrinomas, insulinomas, prolactinomas, and carcinoid tumors. [1, 2]

Cutaneous tumors are common in MEN1, but they can be easily overlooked because of their subtle appearance. The cutaneous tumors include multiple angiofibromas (previously considered pathognomonic for tuberous sclerosis), collagenomas, and lipomas. [3, 4]

Angiofibromas and collagenomas are markers for this tumor syndrome. In the evaluation of a cohort of patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome due to gastrinomas, for example, the dermatological criterion of more than 3 angiofibromas or 1 or more collagenomas was sensitive (75%) and specific (95%) for the diagnosis of MEN1. [5]

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