Increased whole blood viscosity is associated with silent cerebral infarction

Clin Hemorheol Microcirc. 2015;59(4):301-7. doi: 10.3233/CH-131760.


Background: The presence of silent cerebral infarction (SCI) increases the risk of transient ischemia attack, symptomatic stroke, cardiovascular disease and dementia. Increased viscosity is associated with aging, obesity, carotid intima-media thickness, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, diabetes, ischemic heart disease, and stroke.

Aims: The purpose of the study was to assess the hemorheological parameters levels in SCI patients.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate the association between hemorheological parameters and SCI in 1487 subjects (868 men and 619 women) undergoing medical check-up.

Results: The participants with SCI had higher whole blood viscosity (WBV) levels at low shear rate than those without SCI (10.34 ± 1.77 mPa.s vs. 8.98 ± 0.88 mPa.s; P < 0.001). Moreover, the subjects with a high WBV had a higher prevalence of SCI. Logistic regression analysis revealed that a significant association of WBV levels with the risk of SCI after adjustment for confounding factors (OR: 2.025; 95% CI: 1.750-2.343; P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Whole blood viscosity at low shear rate is a novel indicator for SCI regardless of classical cardiovascular risk factors. Early measurement of whole blood viscosity may be helpful to assess the risk of stroke.

Keywords: Silent cerebral infarction; atherosclerosis; risk factors; whole blood viscosity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Viscosity*
  • Cerebral Infarction / blood*
  • Cerebral Infarction / diagnosis
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged