Rare Primary Care News

Disease Profile

Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset






Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)



Nervous System Diseases


The following summary is from Orphanet, a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.

Orpha Number: 284388

Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS) is an infrequent cerebrovascular disorder characterized by severe headaches with or without focal neurological deficits or seizures, and a reversible segmental and multifocal vasoconstriction of cerebral arteries.

RCVS occurs predominantly in females before the age of 50.

Clinical description
The most common clinical feature of RCVS is severe acute headache. The major complication of RCVS is ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke.

The exact pathophysiology of RCVS remains unknown and the prevailing hypothesis involves a transient disturbance in the control of cerebral vascular tone. RCVS may occur spontaneously or be provoked by various precipitating factors, the most common being postpartum and exposure to various vasoactive substances such as illicit drugs and selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors.

Visit the Orphanet disease page for more resources.

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

In-Depth Information

  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.