Factors associated with silent cerebral microbleeds in hemodialysis patients

T Naganuma, Y Takemoto, T Yamasaki, H Shima, T Shoji, E Ishimura, Y Nishizawa, M Morino, M Okamura, T Nakatani
Clinical Nephrology 2011, 75 (4): 346-55

BACKGROUND: The recent development of gradient-echo T2*-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has enabled the highly accurate detection of prior cerebral microbleeds (CMBs), which might indicate a higher risk of future intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and be a marker of cerebral small-vessel disease in the general population. The present study investigated the clinical factors associated with the presence of CMBs in hemodialysis (HD) patients.

METHODS: Cranial MRI, including T2*-weighted MRI, was performed on 179 HD patients without symptomatic cerebrovascular disease and 58 healthy control subjects, and we investigated the prevalence of CMBs and clinical factors associated with the presence of CMBs. We also investigated the relationship between CMBs and other cerebral small-vessel diseases.

RESULTS: The prevalence of CMBs was significantly higher in the HD patients than in the healthy subjects (45 patients (25.1%) vs. none in the healthy controls (0%), p < 0.0001). Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that independent and significant factors associated with the presence of CMBs were age, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure and pulse pressure. Moreover, the presence of CMBs correlated significantly with the presence of lacunar infarcts, periventricular hyperintensity and deep and subcortical white matter hyperintensity.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicated a high prevalence of CMBs among HD patients, and that older age and high blood pressure were strong factors associated with the presence of CMBs. Moreover, CMBs were closely associated with other cerebral small-vessel diseases.

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