Grey-Matter Metabolism in Relation with White-Matter Lesions in Older Hypertensive Patients with Subjective Memory Complaints: A Pilot Voxel-Based Analysis Study

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Abstract

Background: This study aimed at assessing the changes in brain metabolism related to white-matter magnetic resonance (MR) hyperintensities of presumed vascular origin, with a voxel-based quantitative analysis of (18F)-fluorodesoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) imaging. Methods: Sixty older hypertensive patients with subjective memory complaints (75 ± 5 years, 34 women) were prospectively referred to FDG-PET and MRI brain imaging. The Statistical Parametric Mapping software was used to assess the correlation between brain distribution of FDG and white-matter hyperintensities assessed by the Fazekas score on MRI images. Results: The Fazekas score was inversely related to FDG uptake, independently of age and gender, within 14 Brodmann areas located mainly in the frontal lobe but also in certain limbic, insular and temporal areas. This relationship was also found to be largely independent of the volume of grey matter expressed in percentage of cranial volume, an index of atrophy. Conclusions: White-matter MR hyperintensities of presumed vascular origin are cross-sectionally associated with a lower grey-matter metabolism, mainly but not only within frontal areas and independently of age, gender and grey-matter atrophy.

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