Aicardi-Goutières syndrome: a genetic microangiopathy?

Acta Neuropathol. 1999 Aug;98(2):212-6. doi: 10.1007/s004010051071.


Aicardi-Goutieres syndrome (AGS) (McKusick 225750) is an autosomal recessive disease with onset in the 1st year of life, resulting in progressive microcephaly, calcification of cerebral white matter, thalamus and basal ganglia, generalized cerebral demyelination and a chronic low-grade CSF lymphocytosis, without evidence of infection. We report the autopsy of a patient who died with this disorder at the age of 17 years. Findings were severe microencephaly, diffuse but inhomogeneous cerebral white matter loss with associated astrocytosis, calcific deposits in the white matter, thalami and basal ganglia. Neocortex and cerebellar cortex were affected by wedge-shaped microinfarctions. Small vessels showed calcification in the media, adventitia and perivascular spaces. These findings are similar to some previous publications that in retrospect may have been AGS, but this is the first reported cerebral microangiopathy in which the diagnosis AGS was made during lifetime. This report provides evidence that microangiopathy plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of AGS.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Diseases / genetics*
  • Brain Diseases / pathology
  • Calcinosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Calcinosis / genetics*
  • Calcinosis / pathology
  • Cerebral Infarction / pathology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / cytology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / genetics
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / pathology
  • Demyelinating Diseases / genetics*
  • Demyelinating Diseases / pathology
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Genes, Recessive*
  • Gliosis / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytosis / genetics*
  • Male
  • Microcephaly / genetics*
  • Microcephaly / pathology
  • Radiography
  • Syndrome