Moyamoya Disease in a Primarily White, Midwestern US Population: Increased Prevalence of Autoimmune Disease

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Background and Purpose—

Moyamoya disease is an uncommon, cerebrovascular occlusive disease of unknown pathogenesis. Previously described Moyamoya cohorts include predominantly Asian populations or ethnically diverse North American cohorts. To gain further insight into the pathogenesis of moyamoya, we examined clinical characteristics of a primarily white, Midwestern US population


Retrospective analysis of patients with angiographically confirmed moyamoya disease evaluated at our institution was performed. Prevalence of comorbidities, cerebrovascular risk factors, and autoimmune diseases were compared with the general population.


Ninety-four patients with moyamoya were evaluated; 72.3% were female. Ethnic composition was primarily white (85%). A significantly higher prevalence of autoimmune disease was seen, particularly type 1 diabetes mellitus (8.5% versus 0.4% in the general population) and thyroid disease (17.0% versus 8.0% in the institutional general patient population). Hyperlipidemia was also increased (27.7% versus 16.3% in the general population).


This study of a unique, primarily white, Midwestern population of moyamoya patients demonstrates a significantly higher prevalence of autoimmune disease than in the general population. This supports a possible autoimmune component to the pathogenesis of moyamoya disease.

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