In a minority of patients with neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF-1), cerebral vasculopathy reminiscent of moyamoya disease develops. This phenomenon is called moyamoya syndrome (MMS), but there are no known risk factors for the prediction of MMS in NF-1 patients. Polymorphism of the RNF213 gene has exhibited strong associations with familial and sporadic moyamoya disease and other cerebral vasculopathies. The aim of this study is to find whether the RNF213 c.14576G>A variant is associated with MMS development in the NF-1 population or not.
The MMS group included 16 NF-1 patients with documented MMS. The control group consisted of 97 NF-1 patients without MMS. Genomic DNA samples were obtained from the saliva or blood of both groups, and the presence of the RNF213 c.14576G>A variant was assessed by Sanger sequencing.
In the MMS group, 3 patients had the RNF213 c.14576G>A variant (18.7%), whereas no patients with this genetic variation were observed in the control group (0%). There was a meaningful association between the RNF213 c.14576G>A variant and MMS development (p = 0.0024). The crude odds ratio was calculated as 50.57 (95% CI 1.57–1624.41). All 3 patients with MMS and the c.14576G>A variant were diagnosed with MMS at an early age and had bilateral involvement.
The RNF213 c.14576G>A variant is more common in NF-1 patients who develop MMS than in NF-1 patients without MMS. This variant might be a susceptibility gene for the NF-1–moyamoya connection.