Fibromuscular dysplasia of the internal carotid artery associated with α1-antitrypsin deficiency

Wouter I. Schievink, Fredric B. Meyer, Joseph E. Parisi, Eelco F.M. Wijdicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: A deficiency of α1-antitrypsin has been implicated in the development of various disorders affecting medium-sized arteries, including intracranial aneurysms, cervicocephalic arterial dissections, and fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD). We performed α1-antitrypsin phenotyping in three consecutive patients who underwent bypass surgery for FMD of the extracranial internal carotid artery to test the hypothesis that α1- antitrypsin deficiency is a genetic risk factor for the development of FMD. METHODS: The study population consisted of three women (aged 37, 49, and 53 years, respectively) who had bilateral internal carotid artery stenosis caused by FMD. The indications for surgery included ocular or cerebral ischemic symptoms in two patients and progressive stenosis in one patient. The diagnosis of FMD was confirmed by histological examination of the resected segment of artery. The α1-antitrypsin phenotype was determined by isoelectric focusing in polyacrylamide gels. RESULTS: Two of the three patients had a heterozygous α1-antitrypsin deficiency (PiMZ phenotype). Pathological examination of the resected arterial segment showed typical medial FMD with focal intimal fibroplasia in both patients with the PiMZ phenotype. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that a heterozygous α1- antitrypsin deficiency may be a genetic risk factor for the development of FMD of the internal carotid artery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-234
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1998


  • Carotid artery
  • Fibromuscular dysplasia
  • α-antitrypsin deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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