Recent advances in the pathobiology and clinical management of lymphangioleiomyomatosis

Sergio Harari, Paolo Spagnolo, Elisabetta Cocconcelli, Francesca Luisi, Vincent Cottin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of review Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a rare systemic disease that occurs almost exclusively in women. In the last few years, our understanding of disease pathobiology has improved substantially; in addition, a guideline document has recently been developed that provides recommendations for the diagnosis and clinical management of patients with LAM. Yet, significant gaps in knowledge remain. Recent findings Groundbreaking insights into the cellular biochemistry of LAM have led to the reclassification of the disease as a low-grade, destructive, metastasizing neoplasm. In addition, recent data confirm the potential of nextgeneration sequencing to detect low-prevalence mutations in tuberous sclerosis (TSC) genes in sporadic LAM. A randomized, double-blind, multicentre trial has confirmed the efficacy of sirolimus in stabilizing lung function, improving functional performance and quality of life, and reducing lymphatic manifestations in patients with LAM. Accordingly, recent guidelines issued by the American Thoracic Society and the Japanese Respiratory Society recommend sirolimus treatment for patients with LAM and reduced lung function. Uncertainty remains, however, with regard to patient selection, and timing of initiation, duration and dosing of treatment. Summary Significant advances have been made in the diagnosis and clinical management of patients with LAM. However, additional studies are needed to assess long-term safety and efficacy of sirolimus therapy, and to identify predictors of disease behaviour and response to treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-476
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Genetics
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis
  • Rapamycin
  • Sirolimus
  • Treatment
  • Tuberous sclerosis complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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