Objective: To compare clinical features of CCM1, CCM2, and CCM3 mutation carriers.
Methods: A detailed clinical and molecular analysis of 163 consecutive cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) families was performed.
Results: A deleterious mutation was detected in 128 probands. Three hundred thirty-three mutation carriers were identified (238 CCM1, 67 CCM2, and 28 CCM3). Ninety-four percent of the probands with an affected relative had a mutation compared with 57% of the probands with multiple lesions but no affected relative (p < 0.001). The number of affected individuals per family was lower in CCM3 families (p < 0.05). The proportion of patients with onset of symptoms before 15 years of age was higher in the CCM3 group (p < 0.0025). Cerebral hemorrhage was the most common initial presentation in CCM3 patients. The average number of T2-weighted imaging lesions was similar in the three groups, in contrast with a significantly lower number of gradient-echo sequence lesions in CCM2 patients (p < 0.05). The number of gradient-echo sequence lesions increased more rapidly with age in CCM1 than in CCM2 patients (p < 0.05).
Interpretation: Despite similarities among the three groups, there is a significantly lower number of affected individuals in CCM3 pedigrees, CCM3 mutations may confer a higher risk for cerebral hemorrhage, particularly during childhood, and the increment of gradient-echo sequence lesions with age differs between CCM1 and CCM2 patients.