Cerebral amyloid angiopathy with and without hemorrhage: Evidence for different disease phenotypes
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OBJECTIVE: To gain insight into different cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) phenotypes and mechanisms, we investigated cortical superficial siderosis (CSS), a new imaging marker of the disease, and its relation with APOE genotype in patients with pathologically proven CAA, who presented with and without intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). METHODS: MRI scans of 105 patients with CAA pathologic confirmation and MRI were analyzed for CSS (focal, ≤3 sulci; disseminates, ≥4 sulci) and other imaging markers. We compared pathologic, imaging, and APOE genotype data between subjects with vs without ICH, and investigated associations between CSS and APOE genotype. RESULTS: Our cohort consisted of 54 patients with CAA with symptomatic lobar ICH and 51 without ICH. APOE genotype was available in 53 patients. More than 90% of pathology samples in both groups had neuritic plaques, whereas neurofibrillary tangles were more commonly present in the patients without ICH (87% vs 42%, p < 0.0001). There was a trend for patients with CAA with ICH to more commonly have APOE ε2 (48.7% vs 21.4%, p = 0.075), whereas patients without ICH were more likely to be APOE ε4 carriers (85.7% vs 53.9%, p = 0.035). Disseminated CSS was considerably commoner in patients with ICH (33.3% vs 5.9%, p < 0.0001). In logistic regression, disseminated CSS was associated with APOE ε2 (but not APOE ε4) (odds ratio 5.83; 95% confidence interval 1.49-22.82, p = 0.011). CONCLUSIONS: This neuropathologically defined CAA cohort suggests that CSS and APOE ε2 are related to the hemorrhagic expression of the disease; APOE ε4 is enriched in nonhemorrhagic CAA. Our study emphasizes the concept of different CAA phenotypes, suggesting divergent pathophysiologic mechanisms.
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