What is cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL)?

Updated: Oct 09, 2018
  • Author: Reza Behrouz, DO, FACP; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is the most common form of hereditary cerebral angiopathy (see image below). As the name implies, it is dominantly inherited. The condition was first described more than 30 years ago in a Swedish family [1] , although the acronym CADASIL did not emerge until the early 1990s [2] . Clinically, CADASIL is associated with progressive dementia, mood disorders, migraine, and recurrent subcortical cerebral infarctions.

FLAIR MRI of the brain showing hyperintensities in FLAIR MRI of the brain showing hyperintensities involving the temporal poles in a patient with cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL). (Reprinted with permission from Mayo Clin Proc, Meschia, 2005.)

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