Asymptomatic cerebral microbleeds seen in healthy subjects have a strong association with asymptomatic lacunar infarction

Michiya Igase, Yasuharu Tabara, Keiji Igase, Tokihisa Nagai, Namiko Ochi, Tomoko Kido, Jun Nakura, Kazuhiko Sadamoto, Katsuhiko Kohara, Tetsuro Miki
Circulation Journal: Official Journal of the Japanese Circulation Society 2009, 73 (3): 530-3

BACKGROUND: Cerebral microbleed (CMB), which is conspicuous on gradient-echo T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, is a risk factor of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). CMBs have been detected even in neurologically healthy persons, who also seem prone to be affected by stroke, not only ICH but also cerebral infarction.

METHODS AND RESULTS: The presence of CMB was investigated in brain dock participants, making reference to silent lacunar infarction (SLI). Participants comprised 377 neurologically healthy persons and 21 (5.6%) had CMB detected, which was associated with a high incidence of hypertension, other conventional risk factors having no significant correlation with CMB. In a simple correlation analysis, CMB showed a positive association with age and systolic blood pressure (SBP). Logistic regression analysis revealed that SLI was the factor most strongly associated with CMB. Moreover, individuals who had both CMB and SLI had higher SBP than other groups.

CONCLUSIONS: The etiology of CMB is similar to that of SLI.

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