High frequency of apolipoprotein E epsilon 2 allele in hemorrhage due to cerebral amyloid angiopathy

Ann Neurol. 1997 Jun;41(6):716-21. doi: 10.1002/ana.410410607.


From the somewhat conflicting published data on apolipoprotein E (apoE) genotype in hemorrhage due to cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), it is unclear whether apoE genotype influences the risk of CAA-related hemorrhage independently of its association with concomitant Alzheimer's disease (AD). We determined the apoE genotypes of 36 patients presenting with cerebral hemorrhage associated with histologically confirmed CAA. The frequency of apoE epsilon 2 was 0.25 and the frequency of apoE epsilon 4 was 0.18. Patients with CAA-related hemorrhage and concomitant AD pathology (CERAD criteria, n = 17) had a high apoE epsilon 4 frequency, close to that in AD cases without hemorrhage. Patients in whom CAA-related hemorrhage occurred in the absence of significant AD pathology (n = 13) had an apoE epsilon 4 frequency somewhat lower than non-AD controls without hemorrhage. However, in CAA-related hemorrhage, the apoE epsilon 2 frequency was high regardless of whether significant AD pathology was present. We conclude that whereas possession of apoE epsilon 2 may be a risk factor for cerebral hemorrhage due to CAA, apoE epsilon 4 is a risk factor for concomitant AD but not an independent risk factor for CAA-related hemorrhage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alleles*
  • Alzheimer Disease / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics
  • Apolipoprotein E2
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics*
  • Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy / complications*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Apolipoprotein E2
  • Apolipoproteins E