New insights on genetic variants and phenotypic features of childhood large-vessel vasculopathy: a systematic review and single-centre series

Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2024 Apr;42(4):923-930. doi: 10.55563/clinexprheumatol/je8rq2. Epub 2023 Jul 4.


Objectives: To describe the phenotypic, genetic, and outcome characteristics of large-vessel vasculopathy (LVV) in childhood associated with genetic variants. Additionally, a systematic literature review was conducted to delineate the differences between LVV with and without genetic variants.

Methods: The medical records of all children with LVV seen between January 2000 and September 2022 at our institution were retrospectively reviewed for demographic, clinical and genetic data, and outcomes at the last follow-up visit. In addition, we systematically reviewed the literature for the clinical features and known variants of previously reported cases.

Results: Eleven patients with childhood LVV were identified; five (three males) of them had proven genetic variants (two DOCK8variants, one FOXP3, one DiGeorge syndrome, and one ZNF469 variant), while six patients had sporadic childhood LVV. Remarkably, patients with genetic variants were younger and had early-onset disease. However, the diagnosis of LVV was delayed compared to those without genetic variants. All patients with genetic variants were treated with corticosteroids, and three patients required sequential immunosuppressive drugs. Four patients underwent surgical intervention, and one received a haematopoietic stem-cell transplant (HSCT). Three patients achieved clinical remission, and two died. Furthermore, data from 20 previously published cases was extracted from the literature. All patients had inherited disorders. Of those, 14 patients had a genetically proven diagnosis. Most of them are treated with corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs, with partial responses. Two patients underwent HSCT. There were four deaths.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that a variety of inherited disorders may contribute to childhood LVV. Strong genetic evidence and the preponderance of autosomal-recessive inheritance may allow us to propose that monogenic LVV is a distinct entity.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Age of Onset
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Female
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors / genetics
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Phenotype*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Diseases / genetics


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • FOXP3 protein, human
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins