Factors Associated with Leukoaraiosis Severity in Acute Stroke Patients.


Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neurology, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Age-related cerebral white matter abnormalities, commonly termed leukoaraiosis (LA), are frequent manifestation of cerebral microvascular disease. Aging and hypertension are well linked to LA. We compared additional vascular risk factors and socioeconomic factors with LA severity in acute stroke patients.
METHODS : We analyzed 271 patients with acute ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke from a hospital registry. We collected clinical and socioeconomic data prospectively with a standardized questionnaire during acute stroke hospitalization. We scored LA severity on all available head computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans with the Wahlund LA scale. Mean response modeling analyzed for associations between LA severity and multiple potential predictors.
RESULTS : Among 238 patients with CT LA scores, ageing and history of hypertension emerged as independent predictors of LA severity in multivariable analysis. Among 186 patients with MRI LA scores, ageing and severe left ventricular hypertrophy emerged as independent predictors of LA severity in multivariable analysis. We did not find an independent significant association between LA severity and the other factors we tested.
CONCLUSIONS : Our study confirms the association of LA severity with ageing, and with hypertension. However, other vascular and socioeconomic factors we tested were not independently associated with LA severity.