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Neurosurgery. 2007 Apr;60(4):668-72; discussion 672-3.

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha gene and cerebral aneurysms.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Division of Neurosurgery, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.



The pathogenesis of intracranial aneurysms is still uncertain. In addition to atherosclerosis, immunological factors may play a role in the disease. Recent studies have suggested that tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), one of the main proinflammatory cytokines, may play a key role in the formation and rupture of cerebral aneurysms. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the association of a functionally active polymorphism (-308 G<A) in the TNF-alpha gene with the risk and the clinical features of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.


A total of 171 consecutive aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage patients and 144 healthy controls were involved in the study. Computed tomographic scan findings were assessed by Fisher grade; clinical neurological assessment was performed using the Hunt and Hess grading system. Patients and controls were genotyped for the-308 biallelic (G<A) polymorphism of the TNF-alpha gene.


The TNF-alpha G allele was significantly more frequent in patients than in controls (chi2 = 5.59; P = 0.0181) and homozygosity for the G allele, compared with remaining genotypes, was associated with a significantly increased risk of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (odds ratio = 2.20; 95% confidence interval = 1.29<odds ratio<3.75). Allelic and genotypic frequencies of the examined polymorphism were not significantly different in disease subgroups. The different TNF-alpha genotypes do not seem to significantly modify the main clinical features of the disease.


Our data suggests that the TNF-alpha gene or a linked locus significantly modulates the risk for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Additional studies in different populations are warranted to confirm our findings.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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