Carotid intima-media thickness and cerebral white matter lesions are more advanced in acute ischemic stroke patients with renal dysfunction

K Ueda, Y Watanabe, T Katsumata, T Kaneko, T Otori, K Utsumi, Y Iino, Y Katayama
Clinical Nephrology 2011, 76 (4): 290-5

BACKGROUND: It has been shown that chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a risk factor for stroke, but there have been few studies on the relationship between CKD and stroke. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between renal dysfunction and cerebral white matter lesions or carotid plaque in patients with acute ischemic stroke.

METHODS: Subjects were 202 consecutive patients with ischemic stroke who were admitted to the Stroke Center of Nippon Medical School Hospital from January 2007 to July 2008. The estimated glomerular filtration (eGFR) was calculated and the relationship of renal dysfunction to the subtype of ischemic stroke, cardiovascular risk factors, cerebral white matter lesions on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and maximum intima-media thickness (IMT) of the carotid artery was analyzed statistically.

RESULTS: Among the 202 patients with ischemic stroke, 27.9% had an eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 (eGFR < 60 ml group). Age was significantly higher and a history of hypertension, diabetes, and ischemic heart disease was significantly more frequent in this group than in the group with eGFR ≥ 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 (eGFR ≥ 60 ml group). Among the subtypes of ischemic stroke, atherothrombotic cerebral infarction was predominant and accounted for 41.1%, followed by cardiogenic cerebral infarction at 31.1%, lacunar infarction at 18.8%, and unclassified infarction at 8.9%. There was no significant difference in the distribution of ischemic stroke subtype between both groups. Deep and subcortical white matter hypertensity (DSWMH) and periventricular hyperintensity (PVH) were detected by brain MRI in 91.5% of the eGFR < 60 ml group. In the eGFR < 60 ml group, PVH was significantly more frequent than in the eGFR ≥ 60 ml group (p = 0.032) and DSWMH was also more frequent (p = 0.0519). The maximum IMT measured by carotid ultrasound was significantly larger in the eGFR < 60 ml group.

CONCLUSION: In patients with acute ischemic stroke, the incidence of renal dysfunction was high like that of heart disease. In the eGFR < 60 ml group, carotid IMT was larger and the incidence of PVH was higher, so these patients presumably had more advanced atherosclerotic changes of the cerebral vessels.

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