Microangiopathie cérébrale: du diagnostic à la prise en charge small vessel disease of the brain: Diagnosis and management

X Ayrignac, N Gaillard, C Carra-Dallière, P Labauge
La Revue de Médecine Interne 2020 July 24
Small vessel disease of the brain is commonly identified among ageing people. It causes almost 25% of strokes and is associated with cognitive impairment and dementia as well as gait difficulties. Its diagnosis is usually made on MRI in the presence of deep white matter and basal ganglia hyperintensities as well as deep lacunar infarcts (lacunes), microbleeds and enlarged perivascular spaces. MRI is also of importance to identify the main differential diagnoses including inflammatory disorders, cerebral amyloid angiopathy and other genetic causes of microangiopathy. Small vessel disease is associated with the main vascular risk factors including notably age and hypertension but whether controlling these vascular risk factors is beneficial is still not clear. Here, we provide a comprehensive review underlining the main diagnostic features of cerebral microangiopathy and summarise the main therapeutic approaches (notably blood pressure normalisation and physical activity) used to control its development and prevent strokes as well as the development of cognitive involvement and gait impairment.

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