Pain correlates with germline mutation in schwannomatosis

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Schwannomatosis has been linked to germline mutations in the SMARCB1 and LZTR1 genes, and is frequently associated with pain.

In a cohort study, we assessed the mutation status of 37 patients with clinically diagnosed schwannomatosis and compared to clinical data, whole body MRI (WBMRI), visual analog pain scale, and Short Form 36 (SF-36) bodily pain subscale.

We identified a germline mutation in LZTR1 in 5 patients (13.5%) and SMARCB1 in 15 patients (40.5%), but found no germline mutation in 17 patients (45.9%). Peripheral schwannomas were detected in 3 LZTR1-mutant (60%) and 10 SMARCB1-mutant subjects (66.7%). Among those with peripheral tumors, the median tumor number was 4 in the LZTR1 group (median total body tumor volume 30 cc) and 10 in the SMARCB1 group (median volume 85cc), (P=.2915 for tumor number and P = .2289 for volume). mutation was associated with an increased prevalence of spinal schwannomas (100% vs 41%, P = .0197). The median pain score was 3.9/10 in the LZTR1 group and 0.5/10 in the SMARCB1 group (P = .0414), and SF-36 pain-associated quality of life was significantly worse in the LZTR1 group (P = .0106). Pain scores correlated with total body tumor volume (rho = 0.32471, P = .0499), but not with number of tumors (rho = 0.23065, P = .1696).

We found no significant difference in quantitative tumor burden between mutational groups, but spinal schwannomas were more common in LZTR1-mutant patients. Pain was significantly higher in LZTR1-mutant than in SMARCB1-mutant patients, though spinal tumor location did not significantly correlate with pain. This suggests a possible genetic association with schwannomatosis-associated pain.

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