Hereditary endotheliopathy with retinopathy, nephropathy, and stroke (HERNS)
is a rare genetic condition that affects the vascular endothelium (the inner lining of the arteries and blood vessels). Specifically, the small blood vessels of the brain (microangiopathy); retina (vascular retinopathy); and kidneys are affected. Signs and symptoms may include progressive adult onset vision loss, psychiatric disturbances, stroke-like episodes, neurologic decline, and kidney disease. HERNS is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner.
The term retinal vasculopathy with cerebral leukodystrophy (RVCL) has recently been adopted to include HERNS; cerebroretinal vasculopathy (CRV); and hereditary vascular retinopathy (HVR); historically, these 3 conditions have been considered distinct. Genetic studies have shown that these 3 conditions are likely variations of RVCL and are caused by mutations in the TREX1 gene. Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.