Neurofibromatosis type I ( is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by cafe-au-lait spots, Lisch nodules in the eye, and fibromatous tumors of the skin. Individuals with the disorder have increased susceptibility to the development of benign and malignant tumors. NF1 is sometimes referred to as ‘peripheral neurofibromatosis.’ The worldwide incidence of NF1 is 1 in 2,500 to 1 in 3,000 individuals (reviews by Shen et al., 1996 and Williams et al., 2009).

Type II neurofibromatosis (NF2; 101000) is a genetically distinct disorder caused by mutation in the gene encoding merlin (NF2; 607379) on chromosome 22q12. NF2, sometimes known as ‘central neurofibromatosis,’ is characterized by bilateral acoustic neuroma and meningioma, but few skin lesions or neurofibromas (Rouleau et al., 1993).

Some patients with homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in mismatch repair genes (see, e.g., MLH1; 120436 and MSH2; 609309) have a phenotype characterized by early onset malignancies and mild features of NF1, especially cafe-au-lait spots; this is known as the mismatch repair cancer syndrome (276300), sometimes referred to as brain tumor-polyposis syndrome-1 or Turcot syndrome. These patients typically do not have germline mutations in the NF1 gene, although a study by Wang et al. (2003) suggested that biallelic mutations in mismatch repair genes may cause somatic mutations in the NF1 gene, perhaps resulting in isolated features resembling NF1.

See also Legius syndrome (611431), a genetically distinct disorder with a similar phenotype to NF1.