JOURNAL ARTICLE

Clinical characteristics by topographical distribution of brain microbleeds, with a particular emphasis on diffuse microbleeds

Yusuke Yakushiji, Chiaki Yokota, Naoaki Yamada, Yasuo Kuroda, Kazuo Minematsu
Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases: the Official Journal of National Stroke Association 2011, 20 (3): 214-21
20621512
From the perspective of the underlying pathogenesis of primary intracerebral hemorrhage (pICH), the topographical distribution of brain microbleeds (MBs) is divided into the lobar area and the deep brain or infratentorial areas. We investigated clinical features, including ambulatory blood pressure (ABP), of patients with MBs distributed in both areas (diffuse MBs). A total of 124 patients with first-ever acute stroke were enrolled prospectively. Gradient-echo T2∗-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed using a 1.5-T scanner. Patients were classified into 4 groups: MBs-negative group (n=68), those with MBs in lobar areas (lobar group; n=6), those with MBs in deep or infratentorial areas (deep or infratentorial group; n=31), and those with MBs in both areas (diffuse group; n=19). The admission casual BP (CBP) was recorded in all patients, and ABP was measured in the ischemic stroke patients. There were significant differences in the distribution of MBs (P=.004) among the 6 stroke subtypes. All stroke subtypes except transient ischemic attack had diffuse MBs; pICH had the highest prevalence of it (35%). The severity of white matter hyperintensity (WMH) differed among the 4 groups (P < .0001), with the diffuse group having the highest prevalence of early confluent (47%) and confluent types (21%). ABP and CBP were significantly higher in the deep and diffuse groups compared with the MBs-negative group, but did not differ between the lobar group and the MBs-negative group. Our data suggest that diffuse MBs are associated with hypertensive stroke, elevated BP, and severe WMH. The pathogenesis of diffuse MBs may be related to the more severe microangiopathy involved in hypertensive arteriopathy and cerebral amyloid angiopathy.

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