Calculating optimal surveillance for detection of von Hippel-Lindau-related manifestations

Roeliene C. Kruizinga, Wim J. Sluiter, Elisabeth G. E. de Vries, Bernard A. Zonnenberg, Cornelis J. Lips, Anouk N. A. van der Horst-Schrivers, Annemiek M. E. Walenkamp, Thera P. Links*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) mutation carriers develop benign and malignant tumors, requiring regular surveillance. The aim of this study was to calculate the optimal organ-specific age to initiate surveillance and optimal intervals to detect initial and subsequent VHL-related manifestations. In this study, we compare these results with the current VHL surveillance guidelines. We collected data from 82 VHL mutation carriers in the Dutch VHL surveillance program. The cumulative proportion of carriers diagnosed with a first VHL-related manifestation was estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. The Poisson distribution model was used to calculate average time to detection of the first VHL-related manifestation and subsequent manifestations. We used this to calculate the optimal organ-specific age to initiate surveillance and the surveillance interval that results in a detection probability of 5%. The calculated organ-specific ages to initiate surveillance were 0 years (birth) for adrenal glands, 7 years for the retina, 14 years for the cerebellum, 15 years for the spinal cord, 16 years for pancreas, and 18 years for the kidneys. The calculated surveillance intervals were 4 years for the adrenal glands, biennially for the retina and pancreas, and annually for the cerebellum, spinal cord, and kidneys. Compared with current VHL guidelines, the calculated starting age of surveillance was 6 years later for the retina and 5 years earlier for adrenal glands. The surveillance intervals were two times longer for the retina and four times longer for the adrenal glands. To attain a 5% detection probability rate per organ, our mathematical model indicates that several modifications of current VHL surveillance guidelines should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalEndocrine-Related cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2014


  • VHL
  • von Hippel-Lindau
  • surveillance
  • second hit

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