Silent brain infarction is a cerebral ischaemic event evident on brain imaging without any clinical symptom. Silent brain infarction is often detected in apparently healthy, elderly people and in different selected patient groups as well. Lately, several studies were carried out in order to identify the clinical conditions leading to silent brain infarction. A large number of clinical and paraclinical parameters were found to increase silent brain infarction prevalence, and the continuously growing list of risk factors revealed that the majority of them are similar to those related to stroke. Accordingly, some consider silent brain infarction the preclinical stage of clinically overt stroke. This point of view emphasizes the early recognition and management of silent brain infarction-related risk factors, and a great need for comparative studies, which could elicit the most sensitive indicators of the increased silent brain infarction risk, especially the ones that could be cost-effectively screened in the large populations as well.
© 2012 The Authors. International Journal of Stroke © 2012 World Stroke Organization.