Neuropathology and genetics of cerebroretinal vasculopathies

Grant R. Kolar, Parul H. Kothari, Negar Khanlou, Joanna C. Jen, Robert E. Schmidt, Harry V. Vinters

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Cerebroretinal vasculopathy (CRV) and the related diseases hereditary endotheliopathy with retinopathy, neuropathy, and stroke (HERNS), hereditary vascular retinopathy (HVR) and hereditary systemic angiopathy (HSA) [subsequently combined as retinovasculopathy and cerebral leukodystrophy (RVCL)] are devastating autosomal-dominant disorders of early to middle-age onset presenting with a core constellation of neurologic and ophthalmologic findings. This family of diseases is linked by specific mutations targeting a core region of a gene. Frameshift mutations in the carboxyl-terminus of three prime exonuclease-1 (TREX1), the major mammalian 3' to 5' DNA exonuclease on chromosome 3p21.1-p21.3, result in a systemic vasculopathy that follows an approximately 5-year course leading to death secondary to progressive neurologic decline, with sometimes a more protracted course in HERNS. Neuropathological features include a fibrinoid vascular necrosis or thickened hyalinized vessels associated with white matter ischemia, necrosis and often striking dystrophic calcifications. Ultrastructural studies of the vessel walls often demonstrate unusual multilaminated basement membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-518
Number of pages9
JournalBrain pathology (Zurich, Switzerland)
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • CRV
  • and stroke
  • cerebral microvascular disease
  • hereditary endotheliopathy with retinopathy
  • hereditary vascular retinopathy
  • nephropathy
  • ocular microvascular disease


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