Expanding the phenotypic spectrum of FINCA (fibrosis, neurodegeneration, and cerebral angiomatosis) syndrome beyond infancy

Clin Genet. 2021 Oct;100(4):453-461. doi: 10.1111/cge.14016. Epub 2021 Jul 14.


Fibrosis, neurodegeneration, and cerebral angiomatosis (FINCA, MIM#618278) is a rare clinical condition caused by bi-allelic variants in NHL repeat containing protein 2 (NHLRC2, MIM*618277). Pulmonary disease may be the presenting sign and the few patients reported so far, all deceased in early infancy. Exome sequencing was performed on patients with childhood interstitial lung disease (chILD) and additional neurological features. The chILD-EU register database and an in-house database were searched for patients with NHLRC2 variants and clinical features overlapping FINCA syndrome. Six patients from three families were identified with bi-allelic variants in NHLRC2. Two of these children died before the age of two while four others survived until childhood. Interstitial lung disease was pronounced in almost all patients during infancy and stabilized over the course of the disease with neurodevelopmental delay (NDD) evolving as the key clinical finding. We expand the phenotype of FINCA syndrome to a multisystem disorder with variable severity. FINCA syndrome should also be considered in patients beyond infancy with NDD and a history of distinct interstitial lung disease. Managing patients in registers for rare diseases helps identifying new diagnostic entities and advancing care for these patients.

Keywords: FINCA; NHLRC2; cerebropulmonary disease; childhood interstitial lung disease; cholesterol pneumonia; lipoid pneumonitis; lung fibrosis; multi-organ disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Angiomatosis / diagnosis*
  • Angiomatosis / genetics*
  • Biopsy
  • Facies
  • Female
  • Fibrosis / diagnosis*
  • Fibrosis / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics
  • Male
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / genetics*
  • Phenotype*
  • Radiography
  • Syndrome
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • NHLRC2 protein, human