Neuroimaging and correlates of cognitive function among patients with heart failure

Raymond L C Vogels, Joukje M Oosterman, Barbera van Harten, Alida A Gouw, Jutta M Schroeder-Tanka, Philip Scheltens, Wiesje M van der Flier, Henry C Weinstein
Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders 2007, 24 (6): 418-23

BACKGROUND/AIMS: We purposed to investigate the relationship between cerebral abnormalities detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and cognitive performance in nondemented outpatients with heart failure (HF).

METHODS: In 58 patients with HF neuropsychological assessment was performed including tests of mental speed, executive functions, memory, language and visuospatial functions. Deep, periventricular and total white matter hyperintensities (WMH), lacunar and cortical infarcts, global and medial temporal lobe atrophy (MTA) were investigated on MRI of the brain. Correlations between MRI findings and the cognitive measures were calculated.

RESULTS: MTA correlated with memory (r = -0.353, p < 0.01), with executive functions (r = -0.383, p < 0.01) and the Mini Mental State Examination (r = -0.343, p < 0.05). Total WMH and deep WMH were found to correlate with depression and anxiety scores, but not with cognitive measures. Age, estimated premorbid intelligence and MTA were independent predictors of diminished cognitive performance.

CONCLUSIONS: In HF patients, MTA was related to cognitive dysfunction, involving memory impairment and executive dysfunction, whereas WMH was related to depression and anxiety.

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