Familial aggregation, the PDE4D gene, and ischemic stroke in a genetically isolated population.
van Rijn MJE., Slooter AJC., Schut AFC., Isaacs A., Aulchenko YS., Snijders PJLM., Kappelle LJ., van Swieten JC., Oostra BA., van Duijn CM.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this investigation was to study the familial aggregation of ischemic stroke and the association between the PDE4D gene and ischemic stroke. METHODS: The study was performed in an isolated population in The Netherlands, where the authors identified 91 patients with ischemic stroke. Ischemic stroke was subclassified in large- and small-vessel infarction. The authors calculated kinship and inbreeding coefficients and genotyped all patients for three single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the PDE4D gene. RESULTS: The proportion of related pairs was higher in patients with ischemic stroke (68.8%) compared with controls (30.7%; p < 0.001). For large-vessel infarction, the proportion of related pairs was higher (71%) compared with small-vessel infarction (62.8%; p < 0.001). Familial aggregation was strongest for patients with early onset (age at onset < 45 years). All stroke groups were significantly more inbred compared with controls. In inbred individuals, the C allele of SNP45 increased the risk of small-vessel infarction 4.8 times (95% CI 1.1 to 22.3) compared with controls (p = 0.04). The T allele of SNP39 increased the risk of small-vessel infarction 6.3 times (95% CI 1.4 to 28.7) compared with controls (p = 0.02). No associations were found for large-vessel stroke. CONCLUSIONS: There was familial aggregation of ischemic stroke and a difference in degree of familial clustering between stroke subtypes. The authors also found that the PDE4D gene is significantly associated with small-vessel infarction in inbred individuals.