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A Novel Mutation in COL4A1 Gene in a Chinese Family with Pontine Autosomal Dominant Microangiopathy and Leukoencephalopathy.


Pontine autosomal dominant microangiopathy and leukoencephalopathy (PADMAL) is a rare hereditary cerebral small vessel disease. We report a novel collagen type IV alpha 1 (COL4A1) gene mutation in a Chinese family with PADMAL. The index case was followed up for 6 years. Neuroimaging, whole-exome sequencing, skin biopsy, and pedigree analysis were performed. She initially presented with minor head injury at age 38. MRI brain showed chronic lacunar infarcts in the pons, left thalamus, and right centrum semiovale. Extensive workup was unremarkable except for a patent foramen ovale (PFO). Despite anticoagulation, PFO closure, and antiplatelet therapy, the patient had recurrent lacunar infarcts in the pons and deep white matter, as well as subcortical microhemorrhages. Whole-exome sequencing demonstrated a novel c.*34G > T mutation in the 3' untranslated region of COL4A1 gene. Skin biopsy subsequently demonstrated thickening of vascular basement membrane, proliferation of endothelial cells, and stenosis of vascular lumen. Three additional family members had gene testing and 2 of them were found to have the same heterozygous mutation. Of the 18 individuals in the pedigree of 3 generations, 12 had clinical and MRI evidence of PADMAL. The mechanisms of both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke are likely the overexpression of COLT4A1 in the basement membrane and frugality of the vessel walls. Our findings suggest that the novel c.*34G > T mutation appears to have the same functional consequences as the previously reported COL4A1 gene mutations in patients with PADMAL and multi-infarct dementia of Swedish type.

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