The presence of cerebral white matter lesions (WMLs) on MRI is suggested to be a predictive factor for vascular dementia and stroke. To investigate the relationship between arterial stiffness and WMLs, we performed brain MRI to evaluate the presence of two subtypes of WML - periventricular hyperintensities (PVH) and deep white matter lesions (DWML) - and furthermore, determined the brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (ba-PWV) as a marker of arterial stiffness in 132 elderly asymptomatic subjects (49 men and 83 women, 70.3±9.0 years). PVH and DWML were observed in 41 (31.0%) and 53 (40.2%) subjects, respectively. The ba-PWV values were significantly greater in subjects with PVH than in those without. DWML also tended to be associated with ba-PWV, but the correlation was not statistically significant. In multiple logistic regression analysis, age and decreased DBP were independently associated with PVH. ba-PWV was also detected as an independent factor for the appearance of PVH (adjusted odds ratio: 2.84, p=0.015) but not DWML. These results indicate that the increase in arterial stiffness contributes to the pathogenesis of PVH rather than DWML. Although further study is needed to clarify the difference between WML subtypes, our study suggests that the measurement of ba-PWV is a simple and useful tool for detecting cerebral arterial dysfunction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine