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Andreas Machens Medical Faculty, Department of Visceral, Vascular and Endocrine Surgery, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany

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Kerstin Lorenz Medical Faculty, Department of Visceral, Vascular and Endocrine Surgery, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany

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Frank Weber Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, Division of Endocrine Surgery, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

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Tim Brandenburg Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Metabolism, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

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Dagmar Führer-Sakel Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Metabolism, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

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Henning Dralle Medical Faculty, Department of Visceral, Vascular and Endocrine Surgery, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany
Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, Division of Endocrine Surgery, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

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The age-specific development of the three constituent components of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN 2) is incompletely characterized for many of the >30 causative rearranged during transfection (RET) mutations, which this genetic association study aimed to specify. Included in the study were 683 carriers of heterogeneous RET germline mutations: 53 carriers with 1 highest-risk mutation (codon 918); 240 carriers with 8 different high-risk mutations (codon 634); 176 carriers with 16 different intermediate-risk mutations (codon 609, 611, 618, 620, or 630); and 214 carriers with 6 different low-risk mutations (codon 768, 790, 804, or 891).There was a strong genotype-specific development of MEN 2 constituent components, with distinct age gradients from C cell disease to node negative medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), from node negative to node positive MTC, from node positive MTC to pheochromocytoma, and from pheochromocytoma to primary hyperparathyroidism. Primary hyperparathyroidism was not observed among the 53 MEN 2B patients who carried highest-risk mutations (age range: 0.5–50 years), of whom no more than 12 (23%) and 3 (6%) carriers were older than age 30 years and 35 years, respectively. The age-specific development of MTC differed significantly between the four RET risk categories, whereas the age-specific development of pheochromocytoma differed significantly only between the two strongest RET risk categories. No significant differences were noted in the development of primary hyperparathyroidism. These findings delineate age-specific disease manifestation corridors for the three constituent components of MEN 2 by RET genotype. These corridors are useful for initial risk assessment and organ-specific surveillance of newly identified RET carriers going forward.

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