BACKGROUND: Previously, it has been suggested that colorectal polyps and carcinomas might be associated with Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome. We aimed to compare the occurrence of colorectal neoplasms between Dutch patients with Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome and their relatives without Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome.
METHODS: In all, 399 patients with a pathogenic FLCN mutation and 382 relatives without the familial FLCN mutation were included. Anonymous data on colon and rectum pathology was provided by PALGA: the Dutch Pathology Registry.
RESULTS: No significant difference in the percentage of individuals with a history of colorectal carcinoma was found between the two groups (3.6% vs 2.6%, p = 0.54). There was also no significant difference between the age at diagnosis, diameter, differentiation and location of the colorectal carcinomas. Significantly more individuals with Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome underwent removal of colorectal polyps (12.2% vs 6.3%, p = 0.005). However, there was no significant difference between the number of polyps per person, the histology, grade of dysplasia and location of the polyps.
CONCLUSION: Our data do not provide evidence for an increased risk for colorectal carcinoma in Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome, arguing against the need for colorectal surveillance. The difference in polyps might be due to a bias caused by a higher number of colonoscopies in patients with Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome.