Cerebral Cavernous Malformations: An Update on Prevalence, Molecular Genetic Analyses, and Genetic Counselling

Mol Syndromol. 2018 Feb;9(2):60-69. doi: 10.1159/000486292. Epub 2018 Jan 25.


Based on the latest gnomAD dataset, the prevalence of symptomatic hereditary cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) prone to cause epileptic seizures and stroke-like symptoms was re-evaluated in this review and calculated to be 1:5,400-1:6,200. Furthermore, state-of-the-art molecular genetic analyses of the known CCM loci are described which reach an almost 100% mutation detection rate for familial CCMs if whole genome sequencing is performed for seemingly mutation-negative families. An update on the spectrum of CCM1, CCM2, and CCM3 mutations demonstrates that deep-intronic mutations and submicroscopic copy-number neutral genomic rearrangements are rare. Finally, this review points to current guidelines on genetic counselling, neuroimaging, medical as well as neurosurgical treatment and highlights the formation of active patient organizations in various countries.

Keywords: Cerebral cavernous malformations; Genetic counselling; Molecular genetics; Prevalence; Vascular malformation.

Publication types

  • Review