Case Report|Articles in Press

Clinical characteristics of muscle cramps in hereditary angiopathy with nephropathy, aneurysms, and muscle cramps syndrome associated with a novel COL4A1 pathogenic variant: A family case study



      Muscle cramps are a common problem characterized by a sudden, painful, and involuntary contraction of a muscle or muscle group. Most muscle cramps develop in the calf muscles, particularly in situations of prolonged exercise; however, some may be related to underlying systemic conditions such as the hereditary angiopathy with nephropathy, aneurysms, and muscle cramps (HANAC) syndrome. Muscle cramps appear to be the initial symptom of the HANAC syndrome; however, the clinical characteristics of these muscle cramps have rarely been described in detail.

      Case presentation

      We report a familial case of autosomal-dominant muscle cramps in four members of a Japanese family spanning across three generations. The muscle cramps were recognized as systemic symptoms of the HANAC syndrome associated with a novel COL4A1 pathogenic variant, NM_001845:c.1538G > A, p.(Gly513Asp). The four affected individuals indicated that the first episodes of the muscle cramps occurred in early childhood. In addition, they reported that the muscle cramps are characterized by an abrupt onset of severe pain without muscle contraction. The painful recurrent attacks occurred spontaneously in various muscles throughout the body, but rarely in the calf muscle. The muscle pain lasts for several minutes, cannot be ameliorated by stretching the affected muscle, and leaves a feeling of discomfort that lasts for 24–48 h. The serum creatine kinase levels of the patients were persistently elevated; however, their electromyography results did not reveal any specific abnormalities.


      Recognition of the clinical characteristics of the muscle cramps in the HANAC syndrome may facilitate early diagnosis of the syndrome and enable proper treatment of the patients, improve their long-term outcomes, and facilitate the design and adaption of appropriate genetic counseling.


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