Cortical Microinfarcts on 3T Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy: Relations With Other Magnetic Resonance Imaging Markers of Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy and Cognition

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Abstract

Background and Purpose—

Cerebral microinfarcts are small ischemic lesions that are found in cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) patients at autopsy. The current study aimed to detect cortical microinfarcts (CMI) on in vivo 3 Tesla (3T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in CAA patients, to study the progression of CMI over a 1-year period, and to correlate CMI with markers of CAA-related vascular brain injury and cognitive functioning.

Methods—

Thirty-five CAA patients (mean age, 74.2±7.6 years), 13 Alzheimer disease (AD) patients (67.0±5.8 years), and 26 healthy controls (67.2±9.5 years) participated in the study. All participants underwent a standardized clinical and neuropsychological assessment as well as 3T MRI. CMI were rated according to standardized criteria.

Results—

CMI were present in significantly more CAA patients (57.1%; median number: 1, range 1–9) than in Alzheimer disease (7.7%) or in healthy controls (11.5%; P<0.001). Incident CMI were observed after a 1-year follow-up. CMI did not correlate with any other MRI marker of CAA nor with cognitive function.

Conclusions—

In vivo CMI are a frequent finding on 3T MRI in CAA patients, and incident CMI are observable after 1-year follow-up. CMI can be regarded as a new MRI marker of CAA, potentially distinct from other well-established markers. Future larger cohort studies with longitudinal follow-up are needed to elucidate the relationship between CMI and possible causes and clinical outcomes in CAA.

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