Cerebral microbleeds in patients with hypertensive stroke. Topographical distribution in the supratentorial area

J Neurol. 2004 Oct;251(10):1183-9. doi: 10.1007/s00415-004-0500-6.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / pathology*
  • Echo-Planar Imaging / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke / pathology*
  • Stroke / physiopathology