Neurofibromatosis in Children Pictures - 9 Photos & Images
“Neurofibromatosis” is actually a term, which encompasses at least two distinct disorders. Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is the more common, affecting about 1/4000 people throughout the world. Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) affects about 1/40,000 people.
NF1 manifests itself at birth or during early childhood. It is a genetic condition that can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- multiple flat, light-brown patches of skin pigment, called café-au-lait macules or spots
- skinfold freckling
- visible neurofibromas that appear as bumps on or under the skin
- small nodules on the iris (colored part of the eye) called Lisch nodules, which do not cause problems. They’re invisible to the naked eye, but can be detected by an ophthalmologist.
Enlargement and deformity of bones and curvature of the spine (scoliosis) may also be present. On occasion, people with NF1 may develop tumors in the brain, on the cranial nerves or involving the spinal cord. Since neurofibromas are wrapped around nerve fibers, they can sometimes be painful if pressure is applied to them. Neurofibromas can be removed, but the surgery may leave a scar, and the neurofibroma may grow back.
Some children with NF1 may also have plexiform neurofibromas. These are a different kind of neurofibroma. They may be large, and they can encircle and interweave with normal tissue, making them extremely hard to remove. Doctors monitor these tumors for change in size, consistency or appearance of new symptoms such as pain.