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Am J Pathol. Jul 1988; 132(1): 167–172.
PMCID: PMC1880626

beta-amyloid protein of Alzheimer's disease is found in cerebral and spinal cord vascular malformations.


Congo/Red deposition with birefringence to polarized light was demonstrated focally in cerebrovascular malformations removed surgically from 4 older patients (ages 85, 74, 74, and 63), and in a spinal cord vascular malformation in a 76-year-old patient. Lesser degrees of Congophilic change were observed in cerebrovascular malformations screened from 4 of 10 patients between the ages of 30 and 59. No Congophilic change was seen in 10 cerebrovascular malformations removed from patients under 30 years of age. Congophilic areas in all cases decorated with W-2 and 85/45 polyclonal antibodies raised to peptide sequences of cerebrovascular beta-amyloid and beta-amyloid of senile plaques from patients with Alzheimer's disease. Thus, the amyloid in these vascular malformations is immunologically related to beta-amyloid protein. This finding provides another indication that vascular beta-amyloid deposition is not specific for Alzheimer's disease and suggests that an existing abnormality of vessels may be a predisposing factor.

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