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September 1963

Gastrointestinal Involvement in Neurofibromatosis

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, The Ohio State University Health Center, Columbus, Ohio.

Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(3):357-362. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860030111011

Most clinicians know that von Recklinghausen's neurofibromatosis denotes more than the dermatologic curiosity of café au lait spots. Patients with this disease may experience gastrointestinal hemorrhage, small bowel obstruction, malignant degeneration of neurofibromas, and associated pheochromocytomas. This paper describes two cases admitted to The Ohio State University Hospital which demonstrated gastrointestinal involvement with serious complications. Definitive surgery was performed in both of these. Other authors' experience with gastrointestinal problems in neurofibromatosis patients will be emphasized. No attempt will be made to describe the many other manifestations of neurofibromatosis; comprehensive reviews are provided elsewhere.1,2

Report of Cases 

Case 1.  —A 57-year-old white woman was admitted to The Ohio State University Hospital on Jan 12, 1960. Her entire body was covered with neurofibromas. She was known to have had von Recklinghausen's disease since age 16. Her father, three of her six siblings, and a nephew had all been similarly diagnosed. In