White matter hyperintensities (WMH) are associated with intracranial atherosclerosis rather than extracranial atherosclerosis.

Summary of "White matter hyperintensities (WMH) are associated with intracranial atherosclerosis rather than extracranial atherosclerosis."

There is increasing evidence for an association between WMH and large-artery atherosclerosis. We evaluated 268 patients with acute ischemic stroke to assess the relationship between intracranial (IC) atherosclerosis and WMH. The patients were classified into three groups according to the location of the stenosis; IC, extracranial (EC), and non-stenosis (NS) group. WMH were rated using the semiquantitative method of Scheltens and coworkers. The IC group had significantly more WMH score in comparison with the other groups after controlling age. The linear regression analysis showed that age was the factor most strongly associated with the total score of WMH; and the location of stenosis was positively related to WMH, especially in deep white matter. Our data show that IC stenosis is associated with WMH, indicating that IC stenosis, rather than EC stenosis, is likely to cause white matter lesions. These findings raise the possibility that occlusion of penetrating arteries, embolism to border-zone areas and a hemodynamic mechanism associated with IC stenosis leads to the formation of white matter lesions.


Department of Neurology, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, 505, Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul 137-701, South Korea.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Archives of gerontology and geriatrics
ISSN: 1872-6976


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Bleeding within the SKULL that is caused by systemic HYPERTENSION, usually in association with INTRACRANIAL ARTERIOSCLEROSIS. Hypertensive hemorrhages are most frequent in the BASAL GANGLIA; CEREBELLUM; PONS; and THALAMUS; but may also involve the CEREBRAL CORTEX, subcortical white matter, and other brain structures.

Pathologic conditions affecting the BRAIN, which is composed of the intracranial components of the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. This includes (but is not limited to) the CEREBRAL CORTEX; intracranial white matter; BASAL GANGLIA; THALAMUS; HYPOTHALAMUS; BRAIN STEM; and CEREBELLUM.

Striped gray and white matter consisting of the NEOSTRIATUM and paleostriatum (GLOBUS PALLIDUS). It is located in front of and lateral to the thalamus in each cerebral hemisphere. The gray substance is made up of the CAUDATE NUCLEUS and the lentiform nucleus (the latter consisting of the GLOBUS PALLIDUS and PUTAMEN). The white matter is the internal capsule.

Formation or presence of a blood clot (THROMBUS) in a blood vessel within the SKULL. Intracranial thrombosis can lead to thrombotic occlusions and BRAIN INFARCTION. The majority of the thrombotic occlusions are associated with ATHEROSCLEROSIS.

Degeneration of white matter adjacent to the CEREBRAL VENTRICLES following cerebral hypoxia or BRAIN ISCHEMIA in neonates. The condition primarily affects white matter in the perfusion zone between superficial and deep branches of the MIDDLE CEREBRAL ARTERY. Clinical manifestations include VISION DISORDERS; CEREBRAL PALSY; PARAPLEGIA; SEIZURES; and cognitive disorders. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1021; Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1997, Ch4, pp30-1)

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