An autopsy study of the incidence of lacunes in relation to age, hypertension, and arteriosclerosis

Stroke. 1991 Aug;22(8):993-6. doi: 10.1161/01.str.22.8.993.


We investigated selected features of lacunes in 1,086 necropsy cases. Lacunes were found in brains from patients above the age of 40 years and were most common in brains from persons in their sixties but decreased in number in brains from older persons. The most common site of lacunes was the frontal lobe white matter, followed by the putamen, pons, parietal lobe white matter, thalamus, and caudate nucleus in descending order of frequency. By dividing the 1,086 cases into three groups according to blood pressure, we found more lacunes in the hypertensive and borderline hypertensive groups than in the normotensive group; the average number of lacunes per brain in each group was 3.61, 2.77, and 1.15, respectively. Diastolic hypertension was more closely related to the number of lacunes than was systolic hypertension. The extent of arteriolosclerosis of the medullary arteries in the frontal lobe white matter was measured and compared with the number of lacunes. There was a close correlation between lacunes and arterioloslerosis in all age groups.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cadaver
  • Cerebral Infarction / complications*
  • Cerebral Infarction / pathology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Hypertension / pathology
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / complications*
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / pathology
  • Middle Aged