Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome: further delineation of the phenotype and management of PTEN mutation-positive cases

Fam Cancer. 2003;2(2):79-85. doi: 10.1023/a:1025713815924.


Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome (BRRS) is characterised by macrocephaly, intestinal hamartomatous polyps, lipomas, pigmented maculae of the glans penis, developmental delay and mental retardation. The syndrome follows an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance. In 1997 reports on two BRRS patients with a deletion at 10q23.2-q24.1 were published. In the same year, the first two families with BRRS and a mutation of the PTEN gene were reported. Mutations in the PTEN gene have also been demonstrated in patients with Cowden syndrome (CS), which shows partial clinical overlap with BRRS, and in families with cases both of BRRS and CS. PTEN mutation positive BRRS and CS are likely to be different phenotypic presentations of the same syndrome. If BRRS and CS are one single condition, the question arises whether patients with BRRS should be screened for malignant tumours, since patients with Cowden syndrome have an increased risk of breast, endometrial, thyroid and renal cancer. We present two isolated cases and one family and confirm that BRRS and CS are allelic. Furthermore, we review the PTEN mutation positive BRRS cases, to further delineate the phenotype and to compare the cases with a genomic deletion with the cases with a point mutation. We recommend offering BRRS cases with a mutation in PTEN the same surveillance protocol for (malignant) tumours as is currently recommended for CS. In addition, we propose a yearly haemoglobin test from early infancy for the early detection of intestinal hamartomas, which are likely to give severe complications, especially in BRRS cases.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / genetics
  • Developmental Disabilities / genetics
  • Germ-Line Mutation / genetics
  • Hamartoma Syndrome, Multiple / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Polyps / genetics
  • Male
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / genetics*
  • Pigmentation Disorders / genetics
  • Syndrome
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics*


  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • PTEN protein, human