Cerebrofacial vascular metameric syndrome is caused by somatic pathogenic variants in PIK3CA

Sarah E. Sheppard, Victoria R. Sanders, Abhay Srinivasan, Laura S. Finn, Denise Adams, Andrew Elton, Catherine Amlie-Lefond, Zoe Nelson, Victoria Dmyterko, Dana Jensen, Kaitlyn Zenner, Jonathan Perkins, James T. Bennett

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    Disorganized morphogenesis of arteries, veins, capillaries, and lymphatic vessels results in vascular malformations. Most individuals with isolated vascular malformations have postzygotic (mosaic), activating pathogenic variants in a handful of oncogenes within the PI3K–RAS–MAPK pathway (Padia et al., Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol 4: 170–173 [2019]). Activating pathogenic variants in the gene PIK3CA, which encodes for the catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, are present in both lymphatic and venous malformations as well as arteriovenous malformations in other complex disorders such as CLOVES syndrome (congenital, lipomatous, overgrowth, vascular malformations, epidermal anevi, scoliosis) (Luks et al., Pediatr Dev Pathol 16: 51 [2013]; Luks et al., J Pediatr 166: 1048–1054.e1–5 [2015]; Al-Olabi et al., J Clin Invest 128: 1496–1508 [2018]). These vascular malformations are part of the PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum, a spectrum of entities that have regionalized disordered growth due to the presence of tissue-restricted postzygotic PIK3CA pathogenic variants (Keppler-Noreuil et al., Am J Med Genet A 167A: 287–295 [2015]). Cerebrofacial vascular metameric syndrome (CVMS; also described as cerebrofacial arteriovenous metameric syndrome, Bonnet–Dechaume–Blanc syndrome, and Wyburn–Mason syndrome) is the association of retinal, facial, and cerebral vascular malformations (Bhattacharya et al., Interv Neuroradiol 7: 5–17 [2001]; Krings et al., Neuroimaging Clin N Am 17: 245–258 [2007]). The segmental distribution, the presence of tissue overgrowth, and the absence of familial recurrence are all consistent with CVMS being caused by a postzygotic mutation, which has been hypothesized by previous authors (Brinjiki et al., Am J Neuroradiol 39: 2103–2107 [2018]). However, the genetic cause of CVMS has not yet been described. Here, we present three individuals with CVMS and mosaic activating pathogenic variants within the gene PIK3CA. We propose that CVMS be recognized as part of the PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum, providing justification for future trials using pharmacologic PIK3CA inhibitors (e.g., alpelisib) for these difficult-to-treat patients.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numbera006147
    JournalCold Spring Harbor Molecular Case Studies
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Dec 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    Research reported in the publication was supported by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Uplifting Athletes, the Lymphangiomatosis and Gorhams Disease Alliance (to S.E.S.), R01 HL130996 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (to J.T.B.), a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists 1014700 (to J.T.B.), and a Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association Funding Focus Award (to J.P.). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of these organizations.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2021 Sheppard et al.

    PubMed: MeSH publication types

    • Journal Article
    • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
    • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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