Angiotensin-converting enzyme insertion/deletion gene polymorphism and the progression of cerebral microbleeds

Cindy W. Yoon, Jonguk Kim, Young Ju Suh, Byeong C. Kim, Young Chul Youn, Jee Hyang Jeong, Hyun Jeong Han, Seong Hye Choi

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2 Scopus citations


Background and purpose: The angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) insertion (I)/deletion (D) polymorphism has been studied as a genetic candidate for cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD). However, no previous study has evaluated the relationship between the ACE I/D polymorphism and cerebral microbleed (CMB), an important CSVD marker. We evaluated the association between ACE I/D polymorphisms and 2-year changes in CMBs. Methods: The CHALLENGE (Comparison Study of Cilostazol and Aspirin on Changes in Volume of Cerebral Small Vessel Disease White Matter Changes) database was analyzed. Of 256 subjects, 186 participants who underwent a 2-year follow-up brain scan and ACE genotyping were included. Our analysis was conducted by dividing the ACE genotype into two groups (DD vs. ID/II) under the assumption of the recessive effects of the D allele. A linear mixed-effect model was used to compare the 2-year changes in the number of CMBs between the DD and combined ID/II genotypes. Results: Among 186 patients included in this study, 24 (12.9%) had the DD genotype, 91 (48.9%) had the ID genotype, and 71 (38.2%) had the II genotype. Baseline clinical characteristics and cerebral small vessel disease markers were not different between the two groups (DD vs. ID/II) except for the prevalence of hypertension (DD 66.7% vs. ID/II 84.6%; p = 0.04). A multivariate linear mixed-effects model showed that the DD carriers had a greater increase in total CMB counts than the ID/II carriers after adjusting for the baseline number of CMBs, age, sex, and hypertension (estimated mean of difference [standard error (SE)] = 1.33 [0.61]; p = 0.03). When we performed an analysis of cases divided into deep and lobar CMBs, only lobar CMBs were significantly different between the two groups (estimated mean of difference [SE] = 0.94 [0.42]; p = 0.02). Conclusion: The progression of CMBs over 2 years was greater in the ACE DD carriers compared with the combined II/ID carriers. The results of our study indicate a possible association between the ACE I/D polymorphism and CMB. A study with a larger sample size is needed to confirm this association.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1230141
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Yoon, Kim, Suh, Kim, Youn, Jeong, Han and Choi.


  • angiotensin-converting enzyme
  • cerebral microbleeds (CMB)
  • cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD)
  • insertion/deletion polymorphism
  • polymorphism


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