The interleukin-6 gene –174G>C and –572G>C promoter polymorphisms are related to cerebral aneurysms

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Background and aims:

An important part is played by inflammation in intracranial aneurysm formation. The hypothesis that there is an association of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) genotypes (−572G>C and −174G>C) with intracranial aneurysms was tested.


IL-6 genotypes were determined in 91 Caucasian patients with aneurysms and compared with 2720 healthy UK controls.


For both polymorphisms, the distribution of the genotypes and estimated allele frequency were different between the control group and the aneurysm group. For −572G>C, a higher frequency of the C allele (p = 0.001) and more people homozygous for the C allele were found among those with aneurysms than among the controls (4.4%v 0.3%, p = 0.001). For −174G>C, more people homozygous for the C allele were found among the controls than among those with aneurysm (18%v 7%, p = 0.007). The 572C/174G haplotype was associated with an increased risk of aneurysms, with the relative risk compared with the common haplotype being 1.89 and that for the −572G/174C haplotype being 0.58 (p<0.0005).


This is the first study to show that IL-6 promoter polymorphisms are associated with intracranial aneurysmal disease. Whether this association is with the development, progression or rupture of such aneurysms, or represents survivor bias, is unclear.

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