Longitudinal changes in brain volumes and cerebrovascular lesions on MRI in patients with manifest arterial disease: the SMART-MR study

Pieternella H van der Veen, Majon Muller, Koen L Vincken, Theo D Witkamp, Willem P T M Mali, Yolanda van der Graaf, Mirjam I Geerlings
Journal of the Neurological Sciences 2014 February 15, 337 (1): 112-8
We estimated the progression of brain atrophy and cerebrovascular lesions on MRI in a prospective cohort of patients with various manifestations of arterial disease. Within the SMART-MR study, using brain MRI data from baseline and after on average 3.9 years of follow-up, intracranial volume (ICV), total brain, cortical gray matter, ventricular, white matter lesion volumes and visually rated infarcts were obtained from 663 patients (mean age 57 ± 9 years, 81% men). Global and cortical atrophy increased quadratically with age. Men showed more progression of global and cortical atrophy than women (mean difference in change (95% CI): -0.25 (-0.44; -0.06) and -0.94 (-1.35; -0.52)% ICV) and had an increased risk of new brain infarcts (OR = 2.7, 95% CI 1.2-6.1). Compared with coronary artery disease patients, cerebrovascular disease patients showed more progression of cortical and subcortical atrophy and an increased risk of new brain infarcts, and peripheral arterial disease patients showed more progression of cortical atrophy. These results were independent of cerebrovascular lesions and cardiovascular risk factors. In patients with manifest arterial disease, brain atrophy tended to accelerate with older age and men had more progression of brain atrophy and cerebrovascular lesions than women. Additionally, patients with cerebrovascular and peripheral arterial disease showed the most prominent progression of atrophy and lesions.

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