Rupture of intracranial aneurysms (IAs) causes subarachnoid hemorrhage, a devastating condition with high morbidity and mortality. Angiographic and autopsy studies show that IA is a common disorder, with a prevalence of 3%-6%. Although IA has a substantial genetic component, little attention has been given to the genetic determinants. We report here a genomewide linkage study of IA in 104 Japanese affected sib pairs in which positive evidence of linkage on chromosomes 5q22-31 (maximum LOD score [MLS] 2.24), 7q11 (MLS 3.22), and 14q22 (MLS 2.31) were found. The best evidence of linkage is detected at D7S2472, in the vicinity of the elastin gene (ELN), a candidate gene for IA. Fourteen distinct single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified in ELN, and no obvious allelic association between IA and each SNP was observed. The haplotype between the intron-20/intron-23 polymorphism of ELN is strongly associated with IA (P=3.81x10-6), and homozygous patients are at high risk (P=.002), with an odds ratio of 4.39. These findings suggest that a genetic locus for IA lies within or close to the ELN locus on chromosome 7.