Relationship between cerebral atherosclerosis and leukoaraiosis in aged patients: results from DSA

J Neuroimaging. 2014 Jul-Aug;24(4):338-42. doi: 10.1111/jon.12047. Epub 2013 Sep 3.


Background and purpose: There are some controversial results on the relationship between cerebral atherosclerosis and leukoaraiosis in the published papers, where cerebral atherosclerosis was often evaluated by ultrasonography, CTA or MRA. We analyzed data in which patients underwent both MRI and DSA to explore the above relationship in the aged people.

Methods: Three hundred and thirty-three patients were enrolled in the study from the Nanjing Stroke Registry. They underwent both cerebral DSA and MRI. Age, sex, and vascular risk factors were collected. Atherosclerosis was scored from grade 0 to 4. Leukoaraiosis was scored from grade 0 to 3.

Results: Cerebral artery stenosis was not correlated with the presence of leukoaraiosis. There were no correlations between the number of cerebral moderately or more severely stenotic arteries and the severity of leukoaraiosis in periventricular, deep, or whole white matter (P = .747, .268, and .608, respectively). Old age (odds ratio = 1.103, P = .027) and hypertension (odds ratio = 2.748, P = .003) were correlated with leukoaraiosis in the periventricular white matter. Old age (odds ratio = 1.073, P = .031) and prior stroke (odds ratio = 2.678, P = .002) were correlated with leukoaraiosis in the deep white matter.

Conclusions: No apparent correlation exists between cerebral artery stenosis and the presence and severity of leukoaraiosis.

Keywords: Leukoaraiosis; atherosclerosis; digital subtraction angiography; ischemic stroke.

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Causality
  • China / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Leukoaraiosis / diagnosis*
  • Leukoaraiosis / epidemiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Registries*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sex Distribution