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The relation between vascular risk factors and flow in cerebral perforating arteries. A 7 Tesla MRI study.

Cerebrovascular Diseases 2024 Februrary 10
INTRODUCTION: Cerebral perforating arteries provide blood supply to the deep regions of the brain. Recently, it became possible to measure blood flow velocity and pulsatility in these small arteries. It is unknown if vascular risk factors are related to these measures.

METHODS: We measured perforating artery flow with 2D phase contrast 7 Tesla MRI at the level of the centrum semiovale (CSO) and the basal ganglia (BG) in seventy participants from the Heart Brain Connection study with carotid occlusive disease (COD), vascular cognitive impairment (VCI), or no actual cerebrovascular disease. Vascular risk factors included hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and smoking.

RESULTS: No consistent relations were found between any of the vascular risk factors and either flow velocity or flow pulsatility, although there was a relation between lower diastolic blood pressure and higher pulse pressure and higher cerebral perforator pulsatility (p=0,045 and p=0,044, respectively) at the BG level. Results were similar in stratified analyses for patients with and without a history of cardiovascular disease, or only COD or VCI.

CONCLUSION: We conclude that, cross-sectionally, cerebral perforating artery flow velocity and pulsatility are largely independent of the presence of common vascular risk factors in a population with a mixed vascular burden.

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