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ScientificWorldJournal. 2012;2012:532141. doi: 10.1100/2012/532141. Epub 2012 May 15.

Leukoaraiosis is a chronic atherosclerotic disease.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, 6 Weizman Street, 64239 Tel Aviv, Israel.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

White matter changes (WMCs), or leukoaraiosis (LA), are associated with increased age, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and history of stroke. Although several lines of evidence suggest a role of atherosclerosis in atherothrombotic vascular events, their involvement in LA remains to be determined. Our study examines this association in ischemic stroke patients.

METHODS:

One hundred and seventy consecutive ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients were included. All patients underwent brain computed tomography (CT) with assessment of the extension and severity of WMCs, carotid arteries duplex scan with measurements of intima-media thickness (IMT) and plaques.

RESULTS:

Seventy-two patients (42.4%) were found to have white matter lesions, of whom 28.8% had advanced LA. Mean IMT was significantly higher in patients with LA and with advanced LA (P = 0.002, P = 0.003, resp.). In addition, LA and LA severity were associated with existence of carotid plaque (P = 0.007, P = 0.004, resp.). In multivariate logistic regression analysis, including all vascular risk factors, LA was found to be associated with age and IMT.

CONCLUSION:

This study reinforces the tight association between LA and carotid atherosclerosis in ischemic stroke patients. We conclude that a chronic atherosclerotic disease underlies the pathophysiology of leukoaraiosis and its progression.

PMID:
22675271
PMCID:
PMC3362036
DOI:
10.1100/2012/532141
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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