Cerebral amyloid angiopathy: a systematic review

J Clin Neurol. 2011 Mar;7(1):1-9. doi: 10.3988/jcn.2011.7.1.1. Epub 2011 Mar 31.


Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) is a disorder characterized by amyloid deposition in the walls of leptomeningeal and cortical arteries, arterioles, and less often capillaries and veins of the central nervous system. CAA occurs mostly as a sporadic condition in the elderly, its incidence associating with advancing age. All sporadic CAA cases are due to deposition of amyloid-β, originating from proteolytic cleavage of the Amyloid Precursor Protein. Hereditary forms of CAA are generally familial (and therefore rare in the general population), more severe and earlier in onset. CAA-related lobar intracerebral hemorrhage is the most well-studied clinical condition associated with brain amyloid deposition. Despite ever increasing understanding of CAA pathogenesis and availability of reliable clinical and diagnostic tools, preventive and therapeutic options remain very limited. Further research efforts are required in order to identify biological targets for novel CAA treatment strategies. We present a systematic review of existing evidence regarding the epidemiology, genetics, pathogenesis, diagnosis and clinical management of CAA.

Keywords: cerebral amyloid angiopathy; cerebral hemorrhage; dementia.