Objective: To analyse the topography of cerebral microbleeds (CMBs) visualized by T2*-weighted gradient-echo MR imaging in the supratentorial brain area, based on the anatomical classification of the regions and the arterial territories.
Background: CMBs are associated with hypertension and the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage; however, little is known about the cerebral topography of CMBs.
Methods: We examined 164 consecutive patients with hypertensive stroke who underwent T2*-weighted gradient-echo MRI. The anatomical locations and the vascular territories of the CMBs were determined in the subcortical white matter, basal ganglia/internal capsule and thalamus along the standard axial slices.
Results: We detected 2,193 CMBs in 98 patients (13.4+/-39.0 per patient). The CMBs showed a significant predilection for the temporo-occipital area of the subcortical white matter, the posterolateral part of the upper putamen, and the lateral nuclei of the mid-level thalamus. The most common arterial territories were those of the middle-posterior cerebral artery in the white matter, the middle cerebral artery in the basal ganglia, and the thalamogeniculate artery in the thalamus.
Conclusions: These findings were quite similar to the cerebral topography of intracerebral hemorrhage described in the literature. Our results suggest that CMBs are regionally associated with intracerebral hemorrhage.