The presence of apolipoprotein E (ApoE)-E4 allele has been implicated as a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). We examined the occurrence of ApoE 4 alleles in AD associated with cerebral amyloid angiopathy and other vascular lesions. We found significantly high frequency of the ApoE 4 allele in AD with moderate to severe CAA. The frequency of the allele was also high in AD cases with other vascular lesions such as multiple infarcts and lacunes. As previously reported, we confirm a greater frequency of the ApoE 4 allele in the diffuse Lewy body variant of AD. Our results suggest ApoE 4 allele to be a significant factor in the development of CAA in AD. While this may be related to increased brain amyloid load as a consequence of ApoE genotype, the possibility exists that ApoE may be a specific factor in vascular abnormalities associated with AD.