Background: Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is an heritable connective tissue disorder with clinical manifestations of the ocular, dermal, and cardiovascular system. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of symptomatic intracranial aneurysms (IAs) and ischaemic stroke (IS) in PXE.
Methods: The records of 100 patients with PXE were retrieved. All patients were contacted and data on complications were collected. The literature was reviewed regarding PXE, ISs, and IAs.
Results: No patient with PXE had a symptomatic IA as presenting symptom. One patient presented with an IS. During follow-up of 94 of the 100 patients (mean follow-up 17.1 years, range 1-49 years), none presented a symptomatic IA (3,168 retrospective patient observation years and 1, 602 prospective patient observation years). Upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage during follow-up occurred in 17 patients, in 1 patient during aspirin use. One patient has IS as presenting symptom and a recurrence during follow-up, and 7 patients had IS during follow-up. All were caused by small-vessel disease. The relative risk of IS in PXE under 65 years compared with the general population was 3.6 (95% confidence interval 3.3-4.0).
Conclusions: On the basis of the currently available data, an association between symptomatic IAs and PXE is unlikely. However, the incidence of IS, due to small-vessel disease, was increased. Antiplatelet therapy in patients with PXE may lead to a high incidence of upper gastrointestinal haemorrhages.
Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel