Distribution of lacunes in cerebral amyloid angiopathy and hypertensive small vessel disease

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To evaluate whether the burden of deep and lobar lacunes differs between patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) with definite/probable cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) per the Boston criteria and hypertensive small vessel disease (HTN-SVD; ICH in basal ganglia, thalami, brainstem).


We defined lobar and deep lacunes similar to the topographic distribution used for ICH and cerebral microbleeds (CMBs). We then compared their distribution between patients with CAA-ICH and those with strictly deep CMB and ICH (HTN-ICH). The independent associations of lacune location with the diagnosis of CAA-ICH and HTN-ICH were evaluated with multivariable models. The relationship between lobar lacunes and white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume was evaluated by means of partial correlation analyses adjusted for age and a validated visual scale.


In our final cohort of 316 patients with ICH, lacunes were frequent (24.7%), with similar rates in 191 patients with CAA and 125 with HTN-ICH (23% vs 27.2%, p = 0.4). Lobar lacunes were more commonly present in CAA (20.4% vs 5.7%, p < 0.001), while deep lacunes were more frequent in HTN-ICH (15.2% vs 2.1%, p < 0.001). After correction for demographics and clinical and neuroimaging markers of SVD, lobar lacunes were associated with CAA (p = 0.003) and deep lacunes with HTN-ICH (p < 0.001). Lobar lacunes in 80% of the cases were at least in contact with WMH, and after adjustment for age, they were highly correlated to WMH volume (r = 0.42, p < 0.001).


Lobar lacunes are associated with CAA, whereas deep lacunes are more frequent in HTN-SVD. Lobar lacunes seem to have a close relationship with WMH, suggesting a possible common origin.

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