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Stroke. 1988 Oct;19(10):1285-8.

White matter signal abnormalities in normal individuals: correlation with carotid ultrasonography, cerebral blood flow measurements, and cerebrovascular risk factors.

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Department of Neurology, University of Graz, Austria.


We studied 52 asymptomatic subjects using magnetic resonance imaging, and we compared age-matched groups (51-70 years old) with and without white matter lesions with respect to carotid ultrasonography, cerebral blood flow (xenon-133 injection), and cerebrovascular risk factors. In the group with white matter signal abnormalities, we noted a higher frequency of extracranial carotid artery disease, a lower mean gray matter blood flow (F1), and a significant reduction (p less than 0.05) in blood flow of the slow-flowing (F2) compartment. Hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and cardiac diseases (p less than 0.002) were found more often in this group. Our results indicate that a higher incidence of changes known to be associated with an increased risk for stroke exists in the presence of white matter lesions in normal elderly individuals.

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