Chiari Malformation Type 1 in EPAS1-Associated Syndrome

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Jun 10;20(11):2819. doi: 10.3390/ijms20112819.


A syndrome of multiple paragangliomas/pheochromocytomas, somatostatinoma, and polycythemia due to somatic mosaic gain-of-function mutation of EPAS1, encoding HIF-2α, was previously described. HIF-2α has been implicated in endochondral and intramembranous ossification. Abnormal bone growth of the skull base may lead to Chiari malformation type I. We report two cases of EPAS1 gain-of-function mutation syndrome with Chiari malformation and developmental skull base anomalies. Patients were referred to the Section on Medical Endocrinology, Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD, NIH for evaluation of recurrent and metastatic paragangliomas or pheochromocytoma. The syndrome was confirmed genetically by identification of the functional EPAS1 gain-of-function mutation in the resected tumors and circulating leukocytes. Both patients were confirmed for characteristics of EPAS1 gain-of-function mutation syndrome by complete blood count (CBC), plasma biochemistry, and computed tomography (CT) of the abdomen and pelvis. Chiari malformation type I and abnormal bony development of the posterior fossa was found on MRI and CT of the head. The present study implicates EPAS1 mutations in abnormal posterior fossa development resulting in Chiari malformation type I.

Keywords: Chiari malformation type I; EPAS1; HIF-2α; Pacak-Zhuang syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arnold-Chiari Malformation / diagnostic imaging
  • Arnold-Chiari Malformation / genetics*
  • Arnold-Chiari Malformation / pathology
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / diagnostic imaging
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / genetics*
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / pathology
  • Female
  • Gain of Function Mutation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paraganglioma / diagnostic imaging
  • Paraganglioma / genetics*
  • Paraganglioma / pathology
  • Syndrome


  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • endothelial PAS domain-containing protein 1